ESA

Kourou, the European spaceport

Favourable climate, near the equator, opening onto the ocean… Beyond these natural assets, if the CSG (Centre Spatial Guyanais), the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s spaceport, retains its place in the international chessboard, it is because it knows how to continually adapt to the expectations of satellite customers, and technological developments in the field of launchers and ground means.

France in space: independence and cooperation

At the head of the third world space budget, France equipped itself in September with a military space command. Apart from manned flight, the hexagon is present in all areas: commercial launches, science, observation, telecommunications and defense.

ESA, Europe and the USA

Recently, the European Commission (EC) published a communication “towards a Space Strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens”. In this document, the EC emphasises the political and societal role of Space for Europe. Article 189 of the Lisbon treaty confers on the Union a shared space competence. Referring to this new competence, the EC aims at coordinating EU Space programs to counteract a fragmentation of EU Space activities.

In situ resource utilization

In space exploration, in situ (which means “in its original position or place” in Latin) resource utilization (ISRU) is the practice of collection, processing, storing and use of materials found or manufactured on other astronomical objects (the Moon, Mars, asteroids, etc.) that replace materials that would otherwise be brought from Earth.

Jurisdiction over a multi-component space object

In our research on Space Law and on the notion of Space object, let’s have a look at how jurisdiction over a multi-component space object is managed. In this case, by the terms “multi-component space object”, we will look at a space object composed of many space objects, each under the jurisdiction and control of a different state. The best example is the International Space Station (ISS).

Jurisdiction and control by an intergovernmental organisation

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, let’s focus on the exercise of jurisdiction and control over a space object by an international intergovernmental organisation. Let’s study the case of the ISS module Columbus. Which entity would be internationally liable? Which entity has jurisdiction and control over the space object?

Viking, the first Swedish satellite

Viking, the first Swedish satellite, was launched on an Ariane 1 rocket as a piggyback payload together with the French satellite SPOT 1, on February 22, 1986. Operations ended on May 12, 1987. Viking was used to explore plasma processes in the magnetosphere and the ionosphere.

Luca Parmitano & EVA 23

In July 2013, shortly after the EVA 23 began, Luca Parmitano’s helmet began filling with water, resulting in a termination of the spacewalk. As he made his way back to the airlock, the water covered his eyes and nose, blinding and nearly drowning him.

The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services program

The Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) was a NASA program, announced on January 18, 2006, to coordinate the delivery of crew and cargo to the International Space Station (ISS) by private companies. NASA challenged the U.S. industry to establish capabilities and services that could open New Space markets and support the crew and cargo transportation needs of the International Space Station (ISS).

The first European satellites

The first satellites of the European Space Research Organisation (ESRO), a pair of satellites that formed the basis of ESRO’s scientific program, concentrated on solar and cosmic radiation and its interaction with Earth. ESRO-1A was launched on October 3, 1968 and re-entered on June 26, 1970; ESRO-1B was launched on October 1, 1969 and re-entered on November 23, 1969.

The Beagle 2 British Mars lander

The Beagle 2 British Mars lander was a Mars lander initially mounted on the top deck of the Mars Express Orbiter. The lander was released on a ballistic trajectory towards Mars from the Orbiter on December 19, 2003 on a course to land on Mars on December 25, 2003. Isidis Planitia was chosen as the landing site. No signals were received following the scheduled landing and after over a month of attempts at contact the mission was declared lost.

A conference by Jean-Yves Le Gall

Space law will develop in the upcoming years, there will be more and more space legal issues. France set an example with the LOI n° 2008-518 du 3 juin 2008 relative aux opérations spatiales. Americans want to “set the rules” on the Moon. It is a subject in full development.

An interview with Jacques Arnould

An interview with the French priest Jacques Arnould working for the CNES on ethical questions linked to outer space: Mars, the Moon, the exploitation of celestial bodies, science and faith, forestry, and the future of space law.

Intasat, the first Spanish satellite

Intasat, the first Spanish artificial satellite launched in a Sun-synchronous orbit culminating at about one thousand and five hundred kilometres to study the ionosphere, was a milestone. It was, as one of the people involved said, “making a satellite that would teach us how to make satellites”.

Astronomical Netherlands Satellite, the first Dutch satellite

The Astronomical Netherlands Satellite or ANS, also known as Astronomische Nederlandse Satelliet, the first Dutch artificial satellite, was a space-based X-ray and ultraviolet telescope. Launched into a high inclination, Sun-synchronous orbit, it was designed as an astronomical observatory. The spacecraft was attitude-controlled by magnetic coils interacting with the Earth’s magnetic field.

Space Rider, a planned ESA uncrewed orbital spaceplane

Space Rider is a planned uncrewed orbital spaceplane aiming to provide the European Space Agency (ESA) with affordable and routine access to outer space. Space Rider will have the potential to allow experiments in microgravity, such as exposure of materials to outer space and in-orbit validation of technologies, as well as deployment of small satellites.

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?

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.

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.