Policy and Law Aspects of International Cooperation in Space
Proceedings of the 54th IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, 2011
8 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2012
Date Written: October 1, 2011
Building mutually beneficial relationships of cooperation and coordination in space activities ties states together for the betterment and safety of all. Furthermore, international cooperation in space activities between states, and between national space agencies, non-governmental institutions, international organizations, and private enterprises has a long history of success. Today, amidst shifting geopolitical circumstances and a global economy in flux, both global spending on space and even the number of space-faring nations is increasing. Along with the commercialization of some sectors of the space industry, the ending of the United States space shuttle program, and the continuation of the International Space Station, international cooperation in space will face many new challenges.
This cooperation must be shepherded by optimistic but pragmatic legal practitioners. Intergovernmental politics, military concerns, and popular perception all inform how international cooperation in space takes place. Many nations place restrictions on cooperation, including the requirement that the cooperation must conform to their national space policy and further the missions of their national space agencies. Additionally, the cooperation must not involve activities that counteract other national priorities like furthering domestic industrial or technological development. Export controls, choice of law, intellectual property, and reimbursement issues will also arise. Informed by international relations theory, but with an emphasis on international space law, national space legislation, and national space policy, this paper will discuss the likely policy and law aspects of large cooperative international space exploration activities in the years and decades to come.
Keywords: International space law, international cooperation
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