Space Law: Sealab and the aquanauts

In a parallel to the Space Race, the Sealab program was an experimental underwater habitat program developed by the United States Navy (USN) in the 1960s to demonstrate the viability of saturation diving and the human ability to live isolated for long period of times.

Space Law: Znamya the Space Mirror

Znamya was a series of Russian experiments developed in the 1990s to study the possibility of sending back radiation from the Sun to illuminate, for example, cities in the Russian Arctic plunged into darkness for much of the year. Znamya objects are space objects; it would be interesting to focus on environmental legal issues concerning that type of project.

Space Law: Intelsat

Intelsat, one of the world’s largest fleet of commercial satellites, is a communications satellite services provider. Originally formed as International Telecommunications Satellite Organization (ITSO), Intelsat was founded in 1964 to own and operate the worldwide commercial satellite communications system.

Space Law: COMSAT

COMSAT (Communications Satellite Corporation) was a global telecommunications company, based in the United States of America from 1963 to 2007. It was established by the Communications Satellite Act of 1962.

Space Law: The Communications Satellite Act of 1962

The Communications Satellite Act of 1962 is a U.S. federal statute. Its object is to deal with the issue of commercialization of space communications and to establish a commercial communications system utilizing space satellites which will serve American needs and those of other countries and contribute to world peace and understanding.

Space Law: The Partial Test Ban Treaty

The Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) is the abbreviated name of the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere, in Outer Space and Under Water, which prohibited all test detonations of nuclear weapons except for those conducted underground.

Space Law: Starfish Prime or the legality of high-altitude nuclear explosions

High-altitude nuclear explosions are the result of nuclear weapons testing. Starfish Prime was a July 9, 1962 high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States of America. Are those high-altitude nuclear explosions still legal?

Space Law: Valentina Tereshkova becomes the First Woman in Space

Valentina Tereshkova is the first woman to have flown in outer space on June 16, 1963. Before her recruitment as a cosmonaut, Tereshkova was a textile-factory assembly worker and an amateur skydiver. She has been selected from more than four hundred applicants and five finalists to pilot Vostok 6 on June 16, 1963.

Space Law: Telstar 1

Telstar 1, launched by NASA’s Thor-Delta rocket on July 10, 1962, was the first commercially funded satellite to be ever launched. Telstar 1, an experimental telecommunications satellite, the first launched in a commercial setting and financed largely privately, allowed the first live broadcast of television images between the United States of America and Europe.

Space Law: Stratobus or the legal status of High Altitude Platform Stations

Stratobus is an autonomous stratospheric platform concept halfway between the satellite and the drone. Complementing the global satellite coverage, what is the legal status of those High Altitude Platform Stations or geostationary aircraft?

Space Law: The Conclusion of Treaties in Public International Law

Public International Law aims at regulating relations within the International Society. It is only concerned by relations between subjects of International Law (States and international organizations). The conclusion of treaties can be decomposed in three stages: a negotiation, a reservation and the entry into force.

Space Law: The Woomera Manual

The Woomera Manual aims to be a widely-recognised and accepted objective statement of existing international law (lex lata) applicable to military space operations. The Woomera Manual on the International Law of Military Space Operations aims to articulate and clarify extant law applicable to military activities associated with the space domain, especially that which is relevant in periods of tension or outright hostilities.

Space Law: European Space Research Organisation

The European Space Research Organisation (ESRO) was an organisation founded by European States with the intention of jointly pursuing scientific research in outer space. It was founded in 1964. Following a general overhaul of the European Space Program decided in 1973, ESRO was merged with ELDO to form the European Space Agency (ESA) in 1975.

Space Law: European Launcher Development Organisation

The European Launcher Development Organisation (ELDO) is a former European space research organisation. It was first developed in order to establish a satellite launch vehicle for Europe. The three-stage rocket developed was named Europa, after the mythical Greek god.

Space Law: John Glenn orbits the Earth

John Glenn (July 18, 1921 – December 8, 2016) was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962. On February 20, 1962, he was the first American to conduct an orbital flight around the Earth as part of Mercury’s Friendship 7 mission, nearly ten months after the inaugural flight of the Soviet Yuri Gagarin.

Space Law: Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space

The Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, RES 1962 (XVIII), General Assembly eighteenth session, December 13, 1963, is the second important text concerning Space Law.

Space Law: An interview with Jacques Blamont

An interview with Jacques Blamont, former French space agency’s scientific and technical director, father of planetary balloon exploration (Blamont sent in 1985 balloons into the Venusian atmosphere), and space legal issues’ Honorary Chairman.

Space Law: Planetary defense

A collision sixty-six million years ago between the Earth and an object approximately ten kilometres wide is thought to have produced the Mexican Chicxulub crater and the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, widely held responsible for the extinction of most dinosaurs. Asteroid impacts are a continuously occurring natural process. Could this happen again? How are we protecting ourselves?

Space Law: The birth of the French space program

The French space program started with the creation of the National Center for Space Studies or Centre national d’études spatiales (CNES), the most important national space agency in the European Union.

Space Law: The origins of the Apollo program

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy began a dramatic expansion of the U.S. space program and committed the nation to the ambitious goal of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the decade. On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts – Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. – realized President Kennedy’s dream.