Space Law

Light pollution: towards a right to darkness?

For ten years, the subject of light pollution has been more and more discussed. Researchers argue for a right to darkness, both to rediscover the starry sky and to protect ecosystems and human beings, who see lighting as a security symbol.

Analysis of the 2008 French space law

The adoption of the 2008 French space law or “LOI du 3 juin 2008 relative aux opérations spatiales” on June 3, 2008, which addressed several issues intimately linked to the privatisation of space activities, marked the outcome of several years of discussions, and finally provided France with a legal framework for activities in outer space.

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 difference between space policy and space law

In many conventions, talks and meetings where I have been, people have wandered what’s the difference between space policy and space law. For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, I thought it would be good to quickly discuss the meanings and implications of both space policy and space law. Space policy is more about politics.

Harmful contamination, harmful interference and space debris

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, let us study the concept of harmful contamination, harmful interference and that of space debris, as it is presented in Article IX of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, Magna Carta of space law.

The space program of New Zealand

New Zealand’s role in outer space is gaining momentum, bringing increased opportunities. Rocket Lab, a United States of America corporation with a subsidiary in New Zealand, is the main commercial player in New Zealand’s emerging space industry. New Zealand is setting itself up to become an international launch site for sending objects into outer space.

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…

The need to protect satellites

Communications, localisation, observation… The dependence on satellite systems has increased for the realisation of some of these functions, whether they are used for civil applications, as well as in the field of defense. It is therefore essential to be able to ensure the continuity of the services provided by these satellite systems, while ensuring their proper functioning.

Solar sails and their legal status

Solar sails (also called light sails, or photon sails) are a method of spacecraft propulsion using radiation pressure exerted by sunlight on large mirrors. Based on the physics, a number of spaceflight missions to test solar propulsion and navigation, have been proposed since the 1980s. Let’s have a quick look at them and the legal status of these particular spacecraft.

The future space legal issues

Space law was created in the early 1960s as part of the United Nations, under the leadership of the United States of America and the U.S.S.R., then engaged in the race for the Moon. Today, the future space legal issues are the following: the exploitation of celestial bodies in outer space, the militarisation of outer space, and Space Traffic Management (STM).

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?

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.

Space Insurance & Space Law

Space insurance is governed, as all classes of insurance, by general insurance principles: mutualisation (the premium of the many pay for the claims of the few), fortuity (notion of random occurrence as opposed to prediction), indemnity (not to be richer after the loss than before), due intelligence (insurance should not alter the behaviour of the insured), and true and fair declaration of the risk.

Can Space Law apply on Earth?

Can Space Law apply on Earth? When I tell people about my interest in Space Law, they are usually surprised. They ask me what is Space Law and I try to give a simple definition. Recently, I have asked myself if Space Law could apply on Earth and the answer is of course: yes!

An interview with Jean-François Clervoy

This interview of Jean-François Clervoy was conducted by Louis de Gouyon Matignon for Space Legal Issues on Thursday, April 25, 2019, in the CNES office of Jean-François Clervoy in Paris, France. We talked about Space Law, how astronauts are selected and how much do they earn, the Overview Effect and anecdotes.

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.

Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space

The Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space were adopted by consensus on December 3, 1986. They provide a set of non-binding yet agreed and politically relevant principles to guide the activities of remote sensing by the United Nations member states.

The Delimitation between Airspace and Outer Space

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, let’s study the Delimitation between Airspace and Outer Space. The issue of where airspace ends and outer space begins has been debated since the 1950s. This legal issue is important since Air Law and Space Law are governed by vastly different legal regimes.