Space Law

The Norwegian Space Law

The distinctive characteristic of the Norwegian Act of 1969 is that it only contains three paragraphs. Short but effective. The main article states that anyone launching an object into outer space from Norwegian territory or facilities requires permission from the Minister of Trade and Industry.

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.

Legal standards of space tourism: clarifying the status of space tourists as astronauts

Space tourism has become the new hub following the increasing interests of State and non-State actors in the exploration and use of outer space. Accordingly, space tourism has become inevitable in determining certain issues in commercial space travel such as cost, liability, etc.

Intellectual Property aboard the International Space Station

While it is true that space technology has long been one of the most advanced technical fields and that space activities are, in fact, intellectual creations, it is only in recent years that these activities have raised questions of intellectual property. Among other reasons, space activities, public as they were, are becoming more and more private and commercial.

Satellite operating contract

Space contracts are not completely new contracts: they borrow pre-existing molds. However, contractual practice is innovating in order to respond to new needs generated by new techniques: innovation is reflected here in the very fine adaptation to the subject of the contract. Let’s have a look at the satellite operating contract.

The International Frequency Registration Board

The International Frequency Registration Board (IFRB) was created in order to maintain a register of all radio frequencies used for all purposes throughout the world, and to ensure that no new frequency was taken into use by any country if the use of this frequency caused interferences to radio stations already in operation, in accordance with the provisions of the Radio Regulations.

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.

All about the Japanese space law

Adopted on November 16, 2016, the Space Activities Act entered into force on November 15, 2018. Creating a regime for authorising space operations conducted by private operators, the new Japanese system seeks to encourage engagement of the private sector in space activities by ensuring legal certainty.

The differences between COPUOS, UNOOSA and COSPAR

The United Nations has been involved in space activities since the very beginning of the space age. Since the first man-made satellite orbited Earth in 1957, the United Nations has committed itself to secure outer space. What are the differences between COPUOS, UNOOSA and COSPAR?

The first come, first served technique in space law

The first come, first served technique, used for a long time in satellite telecommunications law in order to allocate the natural resources of space (geostationary orbit, frequency spectrum) between States, is in the foreground currently in the context of the allocation of domain names allowing access to the Internet.

Satellite launch contract

How does the satellite launch contract works? How is it created? In this area, we can really speak of the launch market. The last few years have in fact seen the European company Arianespace, long in a situation of quasi-monopoly in matters of commercial launches, widely challenged by companies not only American and Russian, but also Chinese, Japanese, Indian, and Brazilian.

Satellite construction contract

Space contracts are not completely new contracts: they borrow pre-existing molds. However, contractual practice is innovating in order to respond to new needs generated by new techniques: innovation is reflected here in the very fine adaptation to the subject of the contract.

The launch of the first Ethiopian satellite

The data from the Ethiopian Remote Sensing Satellite, the first Ethiopian satellite, will help the country to monitor its resources, such as forest and mining resources, improve weather forecast, as well as observe agricultural transformations which will therefore improve the quality of the country’s responses to various issues.

Can astronauts vote in space?

Currently, only American astronauts can vote from outer space. Indeed, in 1997, the State of Texas passed a law which allows American astronauts to cast their ballots from outer space, from the International Space Station (ISS), and even if they were further out, like on Mars.

The Universe, a zone of lawlessness

This spacecraft, the Tesla Roadster, was not going to measure anything, observe anything. It was a grand publicity stunt, at the cost of “intentional pollution” of outer space. The radio installed on board the imitation vehicle, and supposed to play the song Life on Mars? by David Bowie was too much detail: there is not even a sound in space!

The case of force majeure in space law

Similarly, space debris among those present in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), not listed because less than ten centimetres in size, could cause damage to a satellite or even compromise a launch. If it is established that these debris did indeed cause the damage, force majeure may be claimed, insofar as it is impossible to predict the presence of these small debris.

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?

Proposal for a Martian Constitution

ARTICLE 43: The Republic of Mars is a Federation. Each State on Earth is to be assigned a Federated State of the Republic of Mars. In the event of independence, the territory of the Federated States of the Republic of Mars would no longer belong to the Terrestrial States.

What laws apply in international contracts?

Private relations increasingly include an element of foreignness due to the internationalization of economic exchanges and the multiplication of population displacements. In doing so, international contracts are common in all economic activities.