The United States of America

Conquest of Mars: Phoney War, Cold War or Star Wars?

Protagonists have changed, but motivations remain the same. The conquest of space will always remain the supreme aspiration of countries wanting to assert themselves as a great power in the eyes of humans, through technology. Only a question of cultural soft power? Not so sure.

Understanding the NASA Artemis Accords

On May 15, 2020, NASA published the Artemis Accords that put in place a set of principles to guide the execution of the Artemis program to send a team of astronauts to the Moon by 2024.

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.

Understanding the Rogers Commission Report

On January 28, 1986, seven astronauts were aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger and were preparing to leave for almost a week in outer space. Seventy-three seconds after takeoff, Challenger exploded. What had happened?

The extraterritoriality of American law

The extraterritoriality of American law is the capacity that the United States of America gives itself to enact standards applicable to persons, natural or legal, not American. It is illustrated in several fields, in particular that of international corruption where American standards are imposed thanks to a recurrent application of the Foreign Corrupt Practice Act.

Understanding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an American law passed in 1977 aimed at combating the bribery of foreign public officials. This law follows an investigation in the 1970s by the American regulator (Securities and Exchange Commission) in the context of the Watergate scandal.

Towards an International Space Agency?

It is in the light of all this questioning, and of all this projects that we fully understand the need for an International Space Agency (ISA) which will establish a common program and course of action. It would define the objectives of humanity on a short, medium and long term. The first one could be the organisation of mission on Mars.

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 history of space elevators

The promoters of space elevators generally do not fail to mention the first published concrete attempt, that of the Tower of Babel. Literally “The Gate of the Gods”, it was a ziggurat, a two-story temple-tower, supposed to allow the Babylonians to reach a sacred domain where they would find their supreme god, who lived in the highest heavens.

What role for Europe in the return of Americans to the Moon?

Europe is the continent of inventors and explorers. Starting five hundred years ago, European scientists developed a large number of machines, processes and objects that we still use in our daily life. In the same period, the navigators, still European, furrowed the oceans of our planet and mapped it. Europe must therefore not forget its legacy of explorers.

The Export Administration Regulations

The Export Administration Regulations (EAR) are a set of regulations administered by the Bureau of Industry and Security, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department. In general, the EAR govern what a person may export from the U.S., re-export the item from a foreign country, or transfer an item from one person to another, in a foreign country.

The history of spy satellites

A reconnaissance satellite or spy satellite is a low-orbiting satellite that collects information about civilian and military installations in other countries using an optical or radar system. The first generation type took photographs, then ejected canisters of photographic film which would descend back down into Earth’s atmosphere.

Nicaragua v. United States

In the case of Nicaragua v. United States of America, concerning military and paramilitary activities against Nicaragua, the Court had first to make a judgement on its jurisdiction. On November 26, 1984, the United States Government has invoked a number of reasons for trying to escape international justice.

2020: the decade of return to the Moon

The return of humans to the Moon is planned for 2024 as part of the Artemis program: fifty-five years after Apollo, the crew should be made up of a man and a woman with the objective of installing a perennial base on our natural satellite. A project in which Europe and France will be associated.

Who was Sally Ride?

Sally Kristen Ride, the youngest American astronaut to have travelled to outer space in 1983, having done so at the age of thirty-two, was the third woman in outer space overall, after U.S.S.R. cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova in 1963 and Svetlana Savitskaya in 1982.

Commercial Space Transportation Activities

The Office of Commercial Space Transportation, generally referred to as FAA/AST, is the branch of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that approves any commercial rocket launch operations in the case of a U.S. launch operator and/or a launch from the U.S..

Swarm Technologies and space law

Swarm Technologies, the Silicon Valley creator of “SpaceBee” picosatellites, is an American start-up based in California. On January 12, 2018, four satellites of the American start-up were illegally put into orbit by Antrix Corporation Limited; what are the space legal issues?

The Guano Islands Act

The Guano Islands Act, a United States federal law passed by the U.S. Congress in 1856, enables citizens of the United States of America to take possession, in the name of the United States of America, of unclaimed islands containing guano (the accumulated excrement of seabirds) deposits.

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.

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.