Moon

Understanding the NASA Artemis Accords

On May 15, 2020, NASA published the Artemis Accords that put in place a set of principles to guide the execution of the Artemis program to send a team of astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

Carl Sagan and Project A119

Carl Sagan was one of the founders of the Planetary Society and a member of the SETI Institute. On the other hand, he participated as a researcher in Project A119, a covert operation of the U.S. Air Force whose purpose was to drop an atomic bomb on the Moon.

Legal issues concerning lunar rocks brought back to Earth

The term lunar rock commonly refers to a piece or sample of soil from the Moon. The lunar rocks available today on Earth have three different origins. This term is more particularly used to indicate the rocks collected in situ by space missions having brought back samples of soil from the Moon.

Apollo and religion

Astronauts and cosmonauts, and spaceflight participants have observed their religions while in outer space; sometimes publicly, sometimes privately. Religious adherence in outer space poses unique challenges and opportunities for practitioners. Let us have a look at the cases of Apollo 8, Apollo 11 and religion.

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.

In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) and the future of commercial space

Today, many in the space community think that In-situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) is not ready for use in actual missions, however it is a fact that space resources are already being used in outer space today. Solar energy provides substantial capability to satellites in Earth orbit and on inter-planetary journeys.

What role for Europe in the return of Americans to the Moon?

Europe is the continent of inventors and explorers. Starting five hundred years ago, European scientists developed a large number of machines, processes and objects that we still use in our daily life. In the same period, the navigators, still European, furrowed the oceans of our planet and mapped it. Europe must therefore not forget its legacy of explorers.

What is the nationality of someone born in space?

What would be the nationality of a baby born in weightlessness, four hundred kilometers away from the Earth? Should we consider different scenarios, based on the place of birth? Is there a difference to the citizenship of the baby, whether the birth occurs in a spaceship, in an international space station, on a futuristic lunar base, or on a colony of Mars?

2020: the decade of return to the Moon

The return of humans to the Moon is planned for 2024 as part of the Artemis program: fifty-five years after Apollo, the crew should be made up of a man and a woman with the objective of installing a perennial base on our natural satellite. A project in which Europe and France will be associated.

Women in outer space

The first one hundred percent female extravehicular activity (EVA) took place last Friday from the International Space Station (ISS). Presented as an event by NASA, this release reminds us that aerospace remains a very masculine world: only ten percent of astronauts are women.

Is naming stars legal?

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have asked ourselves the following question: is naming stars legal? There are services which will let you name a star in the sky after a loved one. You can commemorate a special day, or the life of an amazing person. But can you really name a star? Is it legal?

Telepossession and space law

Telepossession could provide for a form of possession, which would allow mining and space colonisation companies to develop the extraterrestrial resources used in making space stations, fleets of spacecraft, fuelling stations and all other colonisation infrastructures.

The militarisation of celestial bodies

About thirty years ago, a part of the doctrine hypothesised the possibility of using celestial bodies as interplanetary stations. This eventuality goes hand in hand with the recognition of the exploration of the Moon and other celestial bodies mentioned in Article I of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. One wonders what implications this discipline might entail, and once again, we could be faced with a gap capable of exposing risky conduct.

The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have decided to publish The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities, a space law Master’s Thesis written by Louis de Gouyon Matignon. Available by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this article, we hope that this work will help you understand space mining, celestial bodies, the lawfulness of space mining activities, asteroids, asteroid mining…

Space archaeology: how to protect lunar sites?

As private companies or NASA revive the space race to Mars, the Moon has once again become an important landmark in space exploration. How to protect the first sites of space exploration, when space is supposed to belong to everyone? The trace of the boot left on the lunar floor by Neil Armstrong in July 1969 is still intact, fifty years later.

Pedis possessio and asteroids

Pedis possessio is a principle of mining law, according to which a qualified person who peaceably, and in good faith, enters a land in the public domain in search of valuable minerals, may hold the place exclusively against others having no better title. In the context of space law and that of the lawfulness of space mining activities, could the principle of pedis possessio interest space lawyers?

Tardigrades on the Moon and space legal issues

In April 2019, the lunar lander Beresheet – a privately funded Israeli project – crashed on the Moon. On board the spacecraft, a few thousand dehydrated tardigrades had been attached to the “lunar library”. As for whether any of the DNA or tardigrades are still intact, that’s anyone’s guess. What about planetary protection and Article IX of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty?

The 1979 Moon Agreement

The 1979 Moon Agreement reaffirms and elaborates on many of the provisions of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty as applied to the Moon and other celestial bodies, providing that those bodies should be used exclusively for peaceful purposes, that their environments should not be disrupted, that the United Nations should be informed of the location and purpose of any station established on those bodies.

Why explore space?

Today, space activities are frequently justified on the basis of economic or policy rationales, or the benefits deriving from space spinoffs. Yet the dream of spaceflight is as old as Humanity and found in cultures around the world. So what drives us to explore the cosmos?

The lawfulness of extraterrestrial real estate

Let’s have a look at the lawfulness of extraterrestrial real estate. Extraterrestrial real estate refers to claims of land ownership on other planets or natural satellites or parts of space by certain organisations, individuals, and artists. The topic has been present since the 1890s.