Legal Regime of Natural Resources of the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
12th RISA Convention, Section 2.1. International Law and Security: The Outer Space, the World Ocean and the Macroregion of Eurasia. Moscow, Oct. 22, 2019.
Posted: 23 Jan 2020
Date Written: October 22, 2019
The currently growing interest of the international community at both governmental and non-governmental levels to the potential use of natural resources of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, involves perhaps the most challenging legal issues, that at best should be resolved before any related international disputes could arise. The possibility and most significantly legitimacy of the potential use of such resources depends on diverse factors and issues: economic, technological, political, international and national legal. Technologically and economically, however, over a relatively long term, the natural resources use is reasoned and justified in specialized publications and research. While starting resource exploitation activities depends mostly on technological and economic feasibility, as well as on political will of the involved states, the potential legal consequences and necessary legitimacy of such activities call for researching the ways and means, finding effective solutions and agreeing on relevant international legal and national legal frameworks. Bearing in mind that outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, as well as the natural resources therein, is considered as direct object of legal regulation of international space law, and more specifically fall within the scope of “mandatory multilateralism”, this paper focuses first on relevant international legal context and then on national, both in the context of the existing legal framework and options for the future legal regime of natural resources of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies.
Keywords: International Space Law, Outer Space Treaty, Moon Agreement, space resources, natural resources of the Moon and other celestial bodies
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