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New States in Space

  • Tanja Masson-Zwaan (a1)
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The actors in outer space have changed dramatically, involving not only new states but also private entities including start-ups, universities, and other new market entrants. The topics that require regulation have also changed, moving from broad principles to govern the initial stages of space exploration to much more complex questions with greater interests at stake. These topics include new kinds of activities, made possible by fast technological progress and often involving great potential for commercial gain, and also issues of growing concern for humankind as a whole with regard to the continued exploration and use of outer space. This essay looks at how new state participants view established and emerging international legal principles regulating space activities and highlights potential points of agreement or disagreement in that respect.

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This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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1 For general information on COPUOS and its Secretariat, see UN Office for Outer Space Affairs.

3 See Members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs (listing current COPUOS members).

4 For a useful resource on this topic, see Secure World Foundation, Handbook for New Actors in Space (2017).

6 Outer Space Treaty, supra note 2, art. V.

7 Id. arts. VI & VII.

8 G.A. Res. 51/122 (Feb. 4, 1997).

9 Outer Space Treaty, supra note 2, art. I.

10 Id.

11 Moon Agreement, supra note 2, art. 11.1.

12 Id. art. 11.3.

13 Id. art. 11.5.

14 The eighteen states that ratified the Moon Agreement do not include any of the “space powers,” but the group is not limited to new state actors either. For details, see supra note 5.

16 Neither the United States nor Luxembourg has ratified the Moon Agreement.

17 For analysis, see IISL/ECSL Symposium on “Legal Models for Exploration, Exploitation and Utilization of Space Resources 50 Years After the Adoption of the Outer Space Treaty,” UN Office for Outer Space Affairs, Legal Subcomm., 56th Sess. (Mar. 27 – Apr. 7, 2017); Tanja Masson-Zwaan & Neta Palkovitz, Regulation of Space Resource Rights: Meeting the Needs of States and Private Parties, Questions of Int'l L. (Jan. 30, 2017).

18 See, e.g., Olavo de O. Bittencourt, Reactions to US National Legislation: The View of Emerging Space Powers, (Symposium on Legal Aspects of Space Resource Utilization, Apr. 17, 2016); see also Thomas Cheney, Reactions to the US Space Act 2015: Statements at COPUOS, id.; Questions and Observations by Belgium on the Establishment of National Legal Frameworks for the Exploitation of Space Resources, Working Paper Prepared by Belgium, Comm. on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, 57th Sess., UN Doc. A/AC.105/C.2/2018/CRP.8 (Mar. 29, 2018).

19 See The Hague Int'l Space Resources Governance Working Group, Int'l Inst. of Air & Space L., Leiden Univ.; The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group, Information Provided by The Netherlands, Comm. on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, Legal Subcomm., 57th Sess., UN Doc. A/AC.105/C.2/2018/CRP.18 (Apr. 12, 2018).

20 See Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities, UN Office for Outer Space Affairs.

21 Id.

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