From Sea to Outer Space and Back. Political, Economic and Environmental Considerations for Ocean-Based Space Launching Activities
Kyriakopoulos, G., Manoli, M., (eds.), The Space Treaties at Crossroads: Considerations for de lege ferenda, Springer, Switzerland, 2019, Forthcoming
Posted: 4 Aug 2015 Last revised: 18 Nov 2018
Date Written: August 3, 2015
Launching and landing of Space Objects from and at the sea is an endeavor that entails various advantages in financial, safety and operational terms. Recent examples such as the attempts taken by Sea Launch and SpaceX seem to be paving the way towards this option. The ideal position for these operations is around the Equator, and more specifically in the maritime domain, in order to take advantage of the unique physical characteristics of the area and to keep potentially harmful acts away from inhabited areas. Those activities are being executed from fixed or floating installations and submarines, positioned either on the High Seas or within Areas of National Jurisdiction. This paper describes the technical and economic aspects of launching and landing via the maritime domain; elaborates on the rights and obligations of coastal and third states (concerning use of the High Seas and The Area) and finally, assesses the environmental and biodiversity challenges raised by those activities. The overall scope of this paper is to highlight the prospects and dangers for Launching States on the one hand, and on the other to emphasize on the priorities and rights of Coastal States and other ocean users. This is accomplished by analyzing the relevant Corpus Juris Spatialis regulations and further on by assessing their compatibility to Law of the Sea and International Environmental Law.
Keywords: Space Law, Space Activity, Launching State, Offshore Activities, Artificial Islands and Structures, Offshore Platforms
JEL Classification: K33, K32, L91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation