The Outer Space Treaty is a greatly misunderstood legal instrument. While many profess to understand the Treaty, there are many misconceptions about the effect the underlying legal effect the Treaty has on national space activities. Particularly, there is much misunderstanding about the legal status of the lunar samples acquired by the United States during the […]Read more "Understanding the Legal Status of the Apollo Lunar Samples"
Forty-nine years ago, the Holy See became a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty. On first blush, the Holy See becoming a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty may seem to be an enigma, but on closer examination there is a rationale for its participation. Consider the legal effect of signature of an international treaty. […]Read more "The Holy See and the Outer Space Treaty"
My posts on this blog have been few and far in-between over the past couple months, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been giving a lot of thought to the current space legal and policy environment. Most notably in my thoughts has been the Outer Space Treaty and specifically how it is becoming more of […]Read more "Is It Time to Retire the Outer Space Treaty?"
It is with sadness the passing of Justice Antoine Scalia and with it one of the longest serving and perhaps most vigorous justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Having met the man when he came to my law school for a visit during my first-year of law school, I was impressed with him not only […]Read more "Justice Scalia, the Constitution and the Outer Space Treaty"
There has been much press and public relations about the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act’s and in particular its space resources provisions. Many believe, including myself, that § 51303 is contrary to the Outer Space Treaty. That being said, this post is not about my rationale for that opinion. To the extent I have analyzed […]Read more "Section 51303: The Oceans are not the Equal to Outer Space"
Introduction One of the vexing issues facing international space law is the legal status of tourists who will take advantage of commercial spaceflight capabilities both sub-orbital and orbital as they become available. While these capabilities have yet to come on line, some providers are selling slots in advance to individuals who wish to experience sub-orbital […]Read more "The Interaction of the Definition of Astronaut and International Law"
The “Spurring Private Aerospace Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Act of 2015” (H.R. 2262) has a significant provision that would grant the federal courts of the United States exclusive jurisdiction over any legal actions arising out of a launch license issued by the FAA. H.R. 2262 states in part: SEC. 107. FEDERAL JURISDICTION. Section 50914 of title […]Read more "Thoughts on H.R. 2262, Section 107, the Federal Courts and Commercial Space [Updated]"