Space tourism

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.

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.

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?

From Antarctic tourism to Moon tourism

Humanity has always wanted to conquer more and more territory. Deserts, islands, tropical forests any area that seemed liveable, have been occupied by men. On Earth, Antarctica was one of the last places that remained untouched, but step-by-step, men are colonising this land of ice. The Moon is another current challenge for the more adventurous men. Antarctica and the Moon have a lot more in common.

The legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems

Stratolaunch has recently taken flight for the first time, on April 13, 2019. It must theoretically be used to carry and drop at a 10-kilometre altitude a small rocket that will then light its engine, and will propel itself to outer space to place satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). What is the legal status of Stratolaunch and the future of orbital launch systems?

The Soviet Buran spaceplane and its legal status

Buran, meaning Snowstorm or Blizzard in Russian, was the first spaceplane to be produced as part of the Soviet Buran programme. What was Buran spaceplane’s legal status? Was Buran an aircraft or a spacecraft?

Space tourism legal aspects

Despite its exorbitant cost, space tourism is developing considerably. Tourism venture Virgin Galactic sent its spaceplane into space for the second time in February 2019, qualifying all three people on the flight for their commercial astronaut wings. Let’s look at the legal aspects of this new activity.