National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Public-private partnership contracts

Public-private partnership contracts involve collaborations between government agencies, and private-sector companies, used to finance, build, and operate projects, such as public transportation networks, parks, and convention centres. Financing projects through public-private partnership contracts can allow projects to be completed sooner, or make them a possibility in the first place.

NASA communicating to survive

NASA is now sixty years old, and more than ever, it is everywhere: on social networks, in the media… Impossible to escape. Its media omnipresence, its ability to communicate, are key elements of its strategy. And for a good reason: since its origins, it is an essential factor of its survival.

Dragonfly, a drone soon on Titan

Dragonfly, the fourth mission of the “New Frontier” exploration program, is a planned spacecraft and mission that will send a mobile robotic rotorcraft lander to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, in order to study prebiotic chemistry and extraterrestrial habitability at various locations where it will perform vertical-take-offs and landings.

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.

The legal framework for commercial uses of ISS

NASA, the initiator of the International Space Station (ISS), is currently reinforcing partnerships with the commercial sector as well as other ISS Partner States: this gives rise to a need to analyse the legal framework for commercial uses of 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?

X-Men and Space Law

X-Men: Dark Phoenix kicks off with the X-Men heading into outer space (and thus becoming astronauts, according to the 1967 Outer Space Treaty), responding to a distress signal from the Space Shuttle Endeavour to rescue the crew of the spacecraft/space object which has critically been damaged. As Space Law enthusiasts, the question we may ask ourselves is the following one: are there laws in outer space concerning astronauts? What are those? Were they respected by the X-Men?

NASA opens ISS to tourists

NASA decided to sell fifty-eight million dollars tickets for the International Space Station, paving the way for more space tourism. The U.S. Space Agency announced to open the ISS to space tourists from 2020. A dozen passengers could stay there each year for a maximum of thirty days. The move reflects the Space Agency’s broader push to encourage commercial partnerships and activities at the ISS. What are the legal aspects?

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 Lunar Payload Services program

The Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) is a NASA program to contract transportation services able to send small robotic landers and rovers to the Moon with the goals of exploration, in situ resource utilisation (ISRU), and lunar science to support the Artemis lunar program.

The Next Space Technologies for Exploration Partnerships program

NextSTEP is a public-private partnership model that seeks commercial development of deep space exploration capabilities to support more extensive human spaceflight missions in and beyond cislunar space: the space near Earth that extends just beyond the Moon. NextSTEP is managed by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES).

The Commercial Crew Development program

NASA’s Commercial Crew and Cargo Program is investing financial and technical resources to stimulate efforts within the private sector to develop and demonstrate safe, reliable, and cost-effective space transportation capabilities. The Program manages Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) partnership agreements with U.S. industry totalling eight hundred million American dollars for commercial cargo transportation demonstrations.

The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984

The Commercial Space Launch Act of 1984 is a United States federal law authored to facilitate the private enterprise of the commercialisation of space and space technology. The Act also assigned the duties of overseeing and coordinating commercial launches, issuing of licenses and permits, and promotion of safety standards to the Secretary of Department of Transportation.

The Commercial Resupply Services contracts

The U.S. Space Agency is looking to deepen its ties with commercial partners; the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) are a series of contracts awarded by NASA from 2008 to 2016 for delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) on commercially operated spacecraft. Continuing its “commercial push”, NASA has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the next round of contracts under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

The Air Mail Act of 1925

In our researches on Space Law, working on the New Space effect and the Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) NASA program, let’s have a look at the Air Mail Act of 1925, also known as the Kelly Act, which turned over the mail service to private contractors.

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).

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.

The Mercury 13

In 1960, Dr. Lovelace (NASA) helped chose twenty-five female astronaut candidates, some of which were selected as the Mercury 13 the next year. These American women underwent the same physiological screening tests as the astronauts selected by NASA on April 9, 1959 for Project Mercury. The program was abruptly cancelled however, in September 1961.

Palapa A1, the first Indonesian satellite

Palapa A1, the first Indonesian satellite, was launched on July 8, 1976. The first communications satellite to be owned by a developing nation, was launched from Florida by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The purpose of the system was to unify the telecommunications of the nation.