An Intersection of Air & Space Law: Licensing and Regulating Suborbital Commercial Human Space Flight Operations

ABA Air & Space Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2010

4 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2010  

Dr. Michael C. Mineiro

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 8, 2010

Abstract

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.

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

Suggested Citation

Mineiro, Dr. Michael C., An Intersection of Air & Space Law: Licensing and Regulating Suborbital Commercial Human Space Flight Operations (January 8, 2010). ABA Air & Space Lawyer, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1533152

Dr. Michael C. Mineiro (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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