Remote sensing, the dual use of satellites and the impact on the environment

There are several questions arising from remote sensing operations, and these too often represent a threat to state sovereignty and territorial control. Let’s have a look at the dual use of satellites and the impact on the environment.

Ohsumi, the first Japanese satellite

Ohsumi or Ōsumi, named after an old province of Japan in the area that is today the eastern part of Kagoshima Prefecture, is the first Japanese artificial satellite. It was launched on February 11, 1970 by a Lambda 4S rocket from the Uchinoura Space Center.

The legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems

Stratolaunch has recently taken flight for the first time, on April 13, 2019. It must theoretically be used to carry and drop at a 10-kilometre altitude a small rocket that will then light its engine, and will propel itself to outer space to place satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). What is the legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems?

WRESAT, the first Australian satellite

Just ten years after the start of the Space Age, Australia became a world player in the Space Race with WRESAT, abbreviation for Weapons Research Establishment Satellite, the first Australian satellite launched on November 29, 1967. What was this satellite’s legal status? What about Woomera?

The legal status of solar energy

Solar energy, which is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “radiant energy emitted by the Sun”, is exploited both on Earth and in outer space: what is its legal status?

An interview with Michel Viso

An interview with French veterinarian Michel Viso from the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) in Paris about exobiology, Enceladus, Europa, Titan, French spationauts, and extraterritorial life. Could we terraform Mars? Could we live on the Moon? How to define life? What is the future of space law?

The legal status of Chinese space-based solar power stations

There might soon be Chinese space-based solar power stations orbiting around the Earth: what would their legal status be? This breathtaking project might revolutionize our relationship to energy, outer space, and History. It might also of course raise deeply interesting space law related questions.

San Marco 1, the first Italian satellite

San Marco 1, also known as San Marco A, the first Italian satellite, was launched by an Italian crew using an American Scout rocket from Wallops Flight Facility, Virginia, on December 15, 1964.

Alouette 1, the first Canadian satellite

Alouette 1 (which means “skylark” in French), which takes its name from a French-Canadian folk song, was the first Canadian artificial satellite. Alouette 1 made Canada the third nation, after the USSR and the United States of America, to design and construct its own satellite.

UNISPACE I in 1968

UNISPACE I, held from August 14 to 27, 1968, was the first in a series of three global UN conferences on outer space, which focused on raising awareness of the vast potential of space benefits for all humankind.

Ariel 1, the first British satellite

Ariel 1, named after the spirit appearing in William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest and also known as UK-1, was the first British satellite, and the first satellite in the Ariel programme; the 62-kilogram British artificial satellite was putted into a Low Earth Orbit on April 26, 1962.

The first ESRO satellite

On May 17, 1968, the first ESRO (European Space Research Organisation) satellite was successfully launched into a highly elliptical near-polar orbit on a Scout-B rocket from the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Industrial commitments on legal aspects of active debris removal

Among the several issues related to the space activities, the one concerning the space debris removal has now become one of the most urgent to address: the number of space objects orbiting around our planet is likely to increase and threaten the safety of the present and future space activities.

Space Law: Project Kuiper, a satellite constellation by Amazon

Amazon has recently confirmed Project Kuiper, a satellite constellation aiming at providing Internet access to ninety-five per cent of the world’s population. There will soon be an intense low-orbit traffic around the planet.

Space Law: The Wow! signal and extraterrestrial life

The Wow! signal, the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected, was a strong radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University’s Big Ear radio telescope in the United States of America, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

The Skylab strike and the need for an outer space labour law

The Skylab strike, a one-day sit-down strike in outer space, is a work slowdown instigated by the crew of the American Skylab 4 mission. With the privatisation of outer space, is there a need for an outer space labour law?

Space Law: The Iranian space program

Iran, one of the twenty-four founding members of the COPUOS, is one of the few countries in the world capable of putting satellites into Low Earth Orbit using its own launch vehicles. The Islamic Republic’s space program is young but is rapidly making progress.

Space Law: The legal status of biosatellites and their payloads

Biosatellites are a special type of satellites taking living organisms (plants, animals, organisms…) into outer space for the study of their behaviour. Are those biosatellites spacecraft or satellites? Are they space objects? Is the biological matter considered a payload of the space object and therefore a space object itself? Are those living beings envoys of mankind?

Space Law: The legal status of objects printed in outer space

The notion of space object will become of more practical importance with the expansion of space activities (International Space Station, space tourism, Moon, Mars…). What will be the legal status of objects built in outer space? Will outer-space-3D-printed objects be considered space objects? What about an object made from extraterrestrial material or a mix of extraterrestrial and earth-brought material?

Space Law: The birth of the Brazilian space program

The Brazilian space program started in the 1960s with a commission that elaborated a national program for the space exploration. Then, the main objectives were set in 1979 by the Brazilian Complete Space Mission, and then, by the Brazilian Space Agency (AEB).