History of Space Law

What was the Constellation Program?

The Constellation Program was a NASA space exploration program, the main objective of which was to send astronauts to the Moon around 2020 for long-term missions. As soon as it was presented to the media, the Constellation Program received a mixed reception. While some were enthusiastic about the idea of a new era of exploration beyond the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), others found little interest in an Apollo-bis deemed to be little innovative.

The female space quartet

The merging of two crews marked the first time four women were in outer space at the same time: Discovery’s three women astronauts, and Expedition 23 Flight Engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) also marked the first time two of its astronauts were in outer space simultaneously.

The Order of the Dolphin and the birth of SETI

In 1961, when UFOs were all the rage, a group of top scientific minds met in secret at a rural observatory in West Virginia. These scientists wanted to find, and talk to, aliens. They didn’t know it, but they were about to launch the modern Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, or SETI.

A history of Vomit Comets

Parabolic flight, as a way of simulating weightlessness, was first proposed by the German aerospace engineer Fritz Haber and the German physicist Heinz Haber in 1950. Both had been brought to the U.S. after World War II as part of “Operation Paperclip”.

Who was Sally Ride?

Sally Kristen Ride, the youngest American astronaut to have travelled to outer space in 1983, having done so at the age of thirty-two, was the third woman in outer space overall, after U.S.S.R. cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982.

Who was Vikram Sarabhai?

Vikram Sarabhai (1919 – 1971), Indian award-winning physicist, industrialist and innovator, initiated space research and helped develop nuclear power in India. Considered the founding Father of the Indian space program, he has created the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Who was Alexandre Ananoff?

Alexandre Ananoff was, well before the first passengers of spaceships, an astronaut: one of those who are interested in the science of rockets and space travel, astronautics. From the end of the 1920s to the launch of Sputnik 1 (1957), he has played a major role.

Who was Eilene Galloway?

Eilene Galloway (May 4, 1906 – May 2, 2009), nicknamed “the Great lady of space”, is a founding member of NASA and has worked for the creation of space law. She has been recognized by her peers as one of the greatest experts in this field.

Clément Ader and his pioneering work in aviation

Some consider the plane of Clément Ader, Éole, to have been the first true aeroplane, given that it left the ground under its own power and carried a person through the air for a short distance, and that the event of October 1890, was the first successful flight.

Peenemünde and the German V-2 rockets

Peenemünde is a municipality on the Baltic Sea island of Usedom in the Vorpommern-Greifswald district in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The community is known for the Peenemünde Army Research Center, where the world’s first functional large-scale liquid-propellant rocket, the V-2, was developed.

Pleumeur-Bodou and the French CNET

July 11, 1962. For the first time in the history of telecommunications, television images are broadcasted live from the United States of America to Europe, thanks to the Telstar satellite. Mondovision was born thanks to Pleumeur-Bodou and the French CNET.

Space Law History 101

The launch of Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957 took the attention of the world. In his non-fiction book Danse Macabre (1981), the horror writer Stephen King tells how the screening of a film in a small-town New England cinema was interrupted. The cinema manager told the audience what had happened, and the screening was abandoned. People went out in a fruitless attempt to try to see the satellite.

Wan Hu, the Chinese astronaut

Wan Hu, the Chinese astronaut, is really well known in China. And throughout the world. Wan Hu is a legendary Chinese official who was described in twentieth century CE sources as the world’s first “astronaut” by being lifted by rockets into outer space. The crater Wan-Hoo on the far side of the Moon is named after him.

The Origins of the Space Age

Let’s have a look at the history of spaceflight from the origins of rocketry to the beginning of the Space Age. Cultures around the world have contributed both to the visions and to the technological developments necessary to make spaceflight a reality.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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?