problems with the outer space treaty

This completely neglects the possibility of private organizations conducting space activities and does not take into consideration other possible situations which might warrant such a consultation. With this achievement, human civilization entered into a new age of exploration, what we called the space age. So, where could we find the mandate to champion the cause of new legal instruments to supplement the broad principles of the OST? Launching satellites into the space for military dominance can be a potential cause a space war scenario, which is a pressing issue. E.g., the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963; the Outer Space Treaty of 1967; the Anti- Ballistic Missile Treaty of 1972. This leaves a very wide scope for interpretation, which is in a way good in an upcoming area like Space law, but because of the lack of any particular precedents, the way forward is very unclear. If the other states also believe in that view, which is possible if they also want to tap in the commercial business, the whole argument of Moon Agreement as a custom, fall flat. Also the article leaves a lot to the subjective discretion of the state in question, as to whether they persieve something to be harmful or not. Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration, via Digital Public Library of America, Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. However, as space has become more accessible and commercialised, those broad statements of principle are, in our view, still necessary but no longer sufficient.

But there are various problems with that.

Even in Australia, a 2015 report commissioned by the Government estimated that the space industry here generated $3 billion to $4 billion in revenue.

“All the things we do in space — they are allowed to happen because we have a treaty in place that prevents conflict from even being staged. It’s a prime example of the role the Outer Space Treaty has played in the past 50 years. 0000007860 00000 n Appearing in person for the signing of the treaty, US President Lyndon Johnson said: This is an inspiring moment in the history of the human race.

The global space industry is already worth over US$330 billion and generates hundreds of thousands of jobs. KEY WORDS: International forum, Outer Space Treaty, Moon Agreement, Environmental preservation, Customary Law. In the light of current happenings and after considering the ineffectiveness of past efforts of preventing the use of space beyond the set boundaries, the future of space exploration doesn’t seem bright without some decisive and sound space laws. The challenges are not just big, they’re existential. In fact many online articles argue incorrectly that the Moon Agreement is applicable as customary law. We wish them great success. The Outer Space Treaty was a revolutionary document, but the need to expand the fundamentals of space law is long overdue. It also has standards for how to handle space samples that are brought back to Earth, to ensure nothing dangerous is spread. Space mining will thus be analogous to fishing in international waters, Lewicki said. It could simply be understood as the principle of ‘good faith’ in international law. The framers of the treaty knew it would be difficult to identify an extraterrestrial organism on Mars, for instance, if we had already spread Earth life on the planet. Countries like USA and China have already demonstrated their ability to destroy orbiting satellites by using anti-satellite missiles.

A line in the treaty says that nations must be held responsible for their actions in space, including those from non-governmental activities. States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried on by governmental agencies or by non-governmental entities, and for assuring that national activities are carried out in conformity with the provisions set forth in the present Treaty.
0000001378 00000 n Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Has technology outrun the international law governing outer space? The outer space environment has largely been neglected when it comes to policy and institutional decisions, as the drafters of the space treaties probably didn’t see the possibility of space mining and exploitation. The bill, though, does not include the litigation provisions for resolving disputes between US companies involving “harmful interference” accessing asteroid resources. The Outer Space Treaty Needs a Huge Update. Also look at it this way, will the US government not tax the companies involved in space resources business? Apart from the debate on the consistency of this law with the non-appropriation principle of the Outer Space Treaty, one has to look into the possible repercussions of such activity on the preservation of outer space environment.

So why should the world continue to rely on an old treaty that is inefficient to tackle current issues in space exploration? Since then, the treaty has helped ensure the peaceful exploration of space, as well as provide a lasting framework for how nations are supposed to behave in Earth orbit and beyond. :[6@j0�>M}n>}����l>٩Z�
“So the treaty allows for commercial activity in space, but part of that tradeoff was the government took an obligation to supervise commercial actors in space.”. No longer are we living in an era where governments are the sole driving force behind space exploration; the private sector is playing an increasing role—perhaps even a dominant role in some aspects of the industry—and international space law is woefully inadequate for what lies ahead. With the increasing chance of militarization of space, the international community also needs to lay some ground rules. As a fact scenario, none of the current space powers in the world, be is USA, Russia, India or China have not signed the agreement. The Space Review reports online that, the new law is nothing but a classic rendition of the “he who dares wins” philosophy of the Wild West. 14-15), the physics of launch vehicles (pp. It is not hard for one to understand the clear intention of including the resources on/in the celestial bodies, the bodies themselves and also the orbits, space rocks and others. Just over 50 years ago, the Outer Space Treaty—the document that forms the basis of international space law—entered into force. 0000001964 00000 n

For 50 years, the OST has largely allowed for a consideration of the interests of both the space “powers” and the space “have-nots”. Climate change is not the only threat – an asteroid impact could wipe out our species, and one of the regular solar events in the life of our Sun could severely disrupt satellites and terrestrial networks and electronics. How To Fix The Google Play Store “Download Pending” Error. What is to be given more importance perhaps is the ambit of ‘outer space, including Moon and other celestial bodies’. In more recent years, there has been a companion conference just prior to the IAC – the Space Generation Congress (SGC). However, Ricky Lee said companies are already making routine, for-profit use of limited space resources by launching satellites into low orbits, and especially into high-up geostationary orbits, of which there are a maximum number of slots available. For example, nations can’t claim an asteroid as theirs, and they also should prevent contaminating foreign planets. Reference: Perhaps, Article IX of Outer Space treaty calling for avoidance of harmful interference and the Moon Agreement forbidding alteration of environment on the moon and other celestial bodies, are the only widely recognized (but not accepted as binding) principles in the international community. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. 0000007883 00000 n The Space Review also reported the following:[8]. Such exploration should also be done “for the benefit and in the interests of all countries,” quickly setting up the importance for international cooperation in the realm of space travel. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. [See Ricky J lee, p.194.] Created when space travel was in its infancy, the agreement was meant to address issues that could arise as space technology advanced. While many experts feel this is a reasonable interpretation, it’s still possible that other countries may feel differently and claim that such extraction is in violation of the treaty.

As Prof. Shaw in his understanding writes that good faith is not an obligation in itself but is an underlying understanding in carrying out any activities in the international sphere.

Most developed countries ratified the treaty prior to its effective date or have since done so. Meanwhile, the US has developed a number of ways to regulate the launch and operation of these commercial satellites. Fifty years ago today, the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom opened a treaty for signature that would become the backbone for international space law.

According to him natural resources [in space] should not be allowed to be appropriated by anyone — states, private companies, or international organizations.

H��U펛0|ށ�W��3�|ݿ��k+�jt�8� ��#p.M�����{��*?���zvvv�1N�ا�������{���_o=��ɻ{�t������z�:x��x]�4�H�B�`����R�Z6��12�x! But then again, the kind of interference talked about is the ITU convention is anything but physical and that this reference is restricted to possible interferences between activities of two states, this correlation, though broad enough, is weak. The responsibility of ensuring the use of space for the benefit of humans ultimately falls on nations that are indulging in militarizing space.

The Federal Aviation Administration is responsible for issuing launch licenses for rockets carrying satellites into space, as well as making sure that these launches don’t harm the public. 0000006414 00000 n 0000001399 00000 n There is no more a need of weapons of mass destruction in space for significant damage since there are other ways to cripple an opposing nation from space. The solutions for the present situation are threefold: firstly, a fresh look at the outer space treaty system by the General Assembly, to adopt a more comprehensive treaty which clarifies in detail various situations arising out of space exploration and use, secondly, establishment of a forum for quick and effective implementation, drawing on the likes of ICSID for investment disputes and thirdly, expansion of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs(UNOOSA) to include outer space environmental conversation in its mandate. While the fundamental principles set out in the treaty are vitally important to the peaceful and orderly use of outer space, the pace of development of space-related technology – which allows for activities far beyond the contemplation of those that put the treaty together – means that some activities in space may fall between the cracks. The Treaty was largely based on the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, which had been adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 1962 (XVIII) in 1963, but added a few new provisions.

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