An Intersection of Air & Space Law: Licensing and Regulating Suborbital Commercial Human Space Flight Operations
Dr. Michael C. Mineiro
Institute for Defense Analyses, Science and Technology Policy Institute
January 8, 2010
ABA Air & Space Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2010
Imagine the excitement of traveling to the upper limits of the atmosphere, experiencing weightlessness and the beauty of mother Earth, and returning home to share your stories. Several companies in the United States are developing and actively marketing this experience and it is anticipated that in a few years and for a few hundred thousand dollars you will be able to purchase such a ride. But where man goes, so does law, and as lawyers our natural inclination is to ask how these activities are to be regulated.
This article examines the regulation of suborbital commercial human space flight in the United States, highlighting aspects of the U.S. regulatory regime, particularly the role of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The European Union is now starting to look at developing its own regulations as well and this article illustrates how the EU approach may differ from that of the United States. The practical questions of future demand for legal services and upcoming legal challenges also are addressed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: aviation, space, law, suborbital flight, regulation, commercial human space flight, FAA, federal aviation administration, experimental permit, launch sites, outer space treaty, commercial space launch act, ICAO, SARPS, Chicago Convention, tort liability, on-orbit jurisdiction, indeminification
Date posted: January 10, 2010
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