International Space Law: A Hindrance to Space Activities or a Resolute Action for Change

Steele, Scott Michael (2022). International Space Law: A Hindrance to Space Activities or a Resolute Action for Change. American Journal of Aerospace Engineering, 9(1)




Human spaceflight without change to International Space Law will remain very much the same. The Outer Space Treaty, the Liability Convention and Rescue Agreement remain an essential element to all space activities. Luckily, the application of these treaties was considered to allow some form of the evolutionary process in their interpretation. This paper will discuss the use of these treaties to the question of human spaceflight; what obstacles may be produced; and how humanity at an international level can adhere to the law, while forming a mutually cooperative approach to space governance. As the United Nations has stood the test of time, this paper will assume that the UN elements of space governance will remain. This paper will argue that with the delegation of activities to an international body, such as UNOOSA, spaceflight and sustainable living on celestial bodies may be possible. The approach of this paper will be to focus on the national and multinational agencies such as NASA and ESA, which are proactive and holding their weight in space governances. This paper will, therefore, examine the international view, with a more focused approach on corporations and multinational agencies. Space colonization is the forefront of visionaries such as Elon Musk, who view Mars as their destination. At today's rate, the likelihood of closer platforms such as the Moon and larger habitable stations such as the ISS may be afforded as more reasonable as a first stage colonization experiment before Mars. This paper will consider the positive approach to living in closer proximity to Earth and what is needed to fuel such a drive to live in a sustainable environment on the Moon and in orbit. The future element of Mars will be hypothesis-based humanity being able to agree and focus on these 'forward stations' in the first attempt of colonization. It is therefore proposed that this paper will consider all the above with a focus on space governance, technology advancement and nearby space colonization with the forward concept of widespread expansion for the betterment of humanity.

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