Europe

The difference between space policy and space law

In many conventions, talks and meetings where I have been, people have wandered what’s the difference between space policy and space law. For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, I thought it would be good to quickly discuss the meanings and implications of both space policy and space law. Space policy is more about politics.

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.

The Television Without Frontiers Directive

The Television Without Frontiers Directive is the cornerstone of the European Union’s audiovisual policy. It rests on two basic principles: the free movement of European television programs within the internal market, and the requirement for TV channels to reserve, whenever possible, more than half of their transmission time for European works.

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television

The European Convention on Transfrontier Television is the first international treaty creating a legal framework for the free circulation of transfrontier television programs in Europe, through minimum common rules, in fields such as programming, advertising, sponsorship and the protection of certain individual rights.

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.

Where to learn Space Law?

Teaching is important both in spreading knowledge of space law and for its development. Unsurprisingly, given the number of states and enterprises now active in space, a goodly number of universities and other academic institutions round the world now offer lectures and occasionally courses in space law.

International Traffic in Arms Regulations

International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) is a United States regulatory regime (dating back to the mid-1970s) to restrict and control the export of defense and military related technologies to safeguard U.S. national security and further U.S. foreign policy objectives. Before 1992, satellite components were classified as munitions, and ITAR export compliance was controlled by the State Department.

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.

Tensions between NASA and China

Throughout the years, starting in 2010, the US government has prohibited all researchers from the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) from working bilaterally with Chinese citizens affiliated with the Chinese government. But recently, scientists and policy makers in the U.S. and Europe were seeking new ways to work with China on its ambitious lunar exploration program.

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.

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.

The 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.

The 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.

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