I have been amiss in my writing on foreign policy and international situations…..politics has taken over as a major concern for me…..then there is the damn silly proposal for a Space Force.
What about “Space Law”?
A new SciFi Channel series?
I have been one of the few bloggers that have been watching the new proposal by Trump to expand our military branches by one….a Space Force or Corps or whatever the name they choose…..who know maybe “Starship Troopers” will become popular.
I am opposed because of the massive amount of funds it will take from concept to reality……then there is the thing called “Space Law”…..yep there is a set of legal positions when it comes to space…..who knew? Well I did.
Then I read an article about the idea of space mining…..again another subject that I have posted several posts about….
It seems that Russia is interested in asteroid mining……
Space mining has been the realm of science fiction, but a handful of firms and governments are pursuing the idea of making it a reality. The small Duchy of Luxembourg became the first country to adopt legal regulations relating to mining in space, including from asteroids.
“In January we offered Luxembourg a framework agreement on cooperation in the use of (mining) exploration in space. We expect an answer from Luxembourg,” said Golikova, part of a Russian delegation headed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
All this got me to thinking……is there legal aspects to all this outer space stuff?
What happened to that UN Space Law from the 1960s?
The onset of domestic space programs during the Cold War propelled the official creation of international space policy (i.e. the International Geophysical Year) initiated by the International Council of Scientific Unions. The Soviet Union‘s 1957 launch of the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, directly spurred the United States Congress to pass the Space Act, thus creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Because space exploration required crossing transnational boundaries, it was during this era where space law became a field independent from traditional aerospace law. Since the Cold War, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the “Outer Space Treaty”) and the International Telecommunications Union have served as the foundational legal framework and set of principles and procedures constituting space law. Further, the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, along with its The Office for Outer Space Affairs subcommittee, aid in governing international space law and policy. Challenges that space law will continue to face in the future are fourfold—spanning across dimensions of domestic compliance, international cooperation, ethics, and the advent of scientific innovations. Furthermore, specific guidelines on the definition of airspace have yet to be universally determined.
Is it possible that a Space Force would be in violation of treaties already in place?
- the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;
- outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
- outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;
- States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;
- the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;
- astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;
- States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;
- States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and
- States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.
The proposal of a US Space Force could break a couple of these long standing laws……time for the UN to step in and talk with all the countries involved in the rush to space….again.
Some of my friends say that I have too much time on my retired hands…..to that I say….”Brain worms gotta feed”!
Now aren’t you sorry you asked?
Peace Out My Friends!