K. WEBB Changing the path of an asteroid has security implications. Should any legal necessity arise, the owner government of the module in which the legal incident occurred would have jurisdiction. If you value our work, please disable your ad blocker. However, the good news is that government and private companies can actually possess what they gain from outer space via mining or processing, just like the legal regime for mining and fishery in high seas and oceans. It’s not illegal for private citizens to own lunar materials, just very difficult to acquire them legally. A wayward asteroid could destroy satellites or, if it was big enough to survive the fall through the atmosphere, hit the Earth itself. H. H. Jr. ALMOND In order to persuade the exploration and development of outer space by private companies, it is inevitable to recognize the right of ownership in outer space. Without any doubt, if everything goes as predicted, space colonies will eventually pursue paths towards total independence from Earth and, in such cases, future lawyers may ultimately propose a new type of interplanetary confederation of humankind as the appropriate legal system for human civilization in the solar system. Babak Shakouri has an LL.M. The potential beneficiaries of these laws are hi-tech companies investing in the exploration and exploitation of space resources. Journal of Space Law, Vol. You can’t own an asteroid, but nothing in the treaty says you can’t move one. None of these scenarios has been tested yet, so it’s not surprising that laws made half a century ago to govern things that nobody has ever done are probably inadequate. This matter, which is mainly categorized within the realm of administrative law, has attracted less attention in comparison with other legal aspects of outer space activities, but in no way should its importance and impact on future space settlement be disregarded. 41, 1991, p. 503. H. van TRAA-ENGELMAN “Dispute Resolution Mechanism for Damage Caused by Space Objects”In “Proceedings of the Forty-Fourth Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, 2001”, Vol. R. K. WOETZEL The U.S. government says yes. N. M. POULANTZAS You can cancel anytime. 150-154. “Cosmos 954 and the Space Treaties”Journal of Space Law, Vol. Outer Space Treaty was primarily designed to do two things: bar individual countries from claiming sovereignty over celestial bodies, and bar anyone from putting nukes in space. We do have direct evidence of valuable resources like titanium and, more importantly, ice, which in addition to sustaining life can be used to make rocket fuel. “Cosmos 954: Issues of Law and Policy”Journal of Space Law, Vol. For more information, to RSVP, and to watch the livestream, visit the New America website. One solution for this problem is the introduction of a Specialized Space Code of Conduct to cover the most common legal topics within multinational space stations or extraterrestrial habitats. 43, 1994, pp. V. S. VERESHCHETIN There are no conservation laws in outer space, so the countries licensing the tours would make the rules. 44, pp. In other words, if a space module, either in orbit or on a surface, is built by a given private or public entity of a country, the respective government possesses the absolute jurisdiction within such module and its inhabitants, just like the legal situation of flagged vessels in high seas. A. MANEGGIA 3, Issue 3, Special Issue, 1990, p.139. 445-472. In 2015 the U.S. Congress passed the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, recognizing the rights of American companies to own resources mined in space. Now, that’s changing rapidly. If the U.S. were to recognize property claims made by Martian settlers under those circumstances, it would look a lot like colonization by proxy. The positive economic exchange rate with the Earth may assure the continuation and even expansion of space settlements on celestial bodies.