The Molniya Orbit and Satellites

The name of this orbit comes from the Molniya satellites program which was a series of civilian and military communications satellites developed by the Soviet Union and then by Russia. Indeed these satellites have used this particular orbit since the mid 1960s, therefore giving its name to it.

Space Adventures: The First Private Space Company

On June 25, 2020, Space Adventures announced that it had signed a contract with Russia space corporation Energia to send two tourists in 2023 on board the Soyuz spacecraft to the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS).

India is sending astronauts in space in 2022: why it is important

As part of the Gaganyaan mission, Indian astronauts will be sent into space in 2022. This is a true revolution concerning human spaceflight and space legal issues. Let us have a look at it.

MirCorp, the first New Space Company

MirCorp has one objective: “to operate the space station in a private way”. And the company has a lot of projects. In June 2000, The New York Times tells that an American millionaire, Dennis Tito, spent twenty million dollars to afford a stay of ten days at Mir space station.

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.

Advertising in outer space: the beginnings of commercial drifts?

Advertising is everywhere: on posters (paper or digital), in magazines, on TV, on the Internet, in our smartphones, and even soon in our connected and autonomous cars. Is the next step the sky? Will we one day see giant billboards floating in the clouds… even in outer space?

Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space

A positive step towards protecting the human environment was taken on December 14, 1992, with the adoption by the U.N. General Assembly of the Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space. These eleven Principles, with the Resolution adopting them, culminate efforts going back to 1972.

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 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).

The Soviet Almaz military space station

The Almaz, meaning “Diamond” in Russian, was a highly secret Soviet military space station program, begun in the early 1960s. Along with some state-of-the-art spy equipment, such as cameras and radar, Almaz would carry a cannon, a modified version of the Rikhter R-23, in its arsenal. Only after the fall of the U.S.S.R. did Russian sources revealed that the cannon had actually fired in orbit.

Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space

On June 10, 2014, Russia introduced to the Conference on Disarmament an updated draft of its working paper with China, “Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects”.


Interkosmos (1967) was a Soviet space program designed to help the Soviet Union’s allies with manned and unmanned space missions. The program of international cooperation had primarily political objectives: establishing good relations with the countries of Eastern Europe.

Is the International Space Station a launching State?

Satellites launched from Earth require dedicated launch vehicles to propel them into the proper orbit. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) found a way to cut the costs of this activity by designing a small satellite launcher, installed recently on the International Space Station (ISS). Is ISS therefore a launching State?