Emory International Law Review

International Standards in Regulating Space Travel: Clarifying Ambiguities in the Commercial Era of Outer Space
Juan Davalos Notes and Comments Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2016); B.A., Latin American Studies & Spanish, Miami University (2013). The author would like to give a special thanks to Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im for all of his advice and support in the writing of this article. The author would also like to thank Matt Bryson for his valuable feedback, and the Emory Space Organization of Law and Research for pushing him toward the field of space law for his Comment topic.

Abstract

The era of commercial space travel and the rise of abundant spacefaring nations has led to an increase in space activity, which has outpaced international space laws—laws that were originally imagined for state-sponsored space travel in an arena with only two spacefaring states. International space law began with the creation of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in 1959 and the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, and has continued with conventions from the United Nations and treaties among nations, including the United States and the European Union, which have attempted to address the rise of commercial space travel. However, throughout this evolution in space law, significant ambiguities in terms and regulations have persisted. This Comment calls for a more uniform and clear description of the terms and regulations that govern international space law and leadership from the United Nations in establishing these regulations among the spacefaring nations of the world.

Specifically, this Comment discusses the importance of creating uniform and unambiguous definitions for terms of art within the field of international space law such as “space object,” the delineation of Earth’s air space, and “outer space” itself, as well as the importance of clarifying how a state becomes a launching state among several parties. Part I gives a history of the background of international space law from its inception in 1959 to the current day. Part II looks at the various national and regional attempts to codify and interpret domestic space law and the similarities and differences between these regulatory schemes. Part III analyzes the United Nations’ most recent attempts to clarify the ambiguities in international space law and how those recent attempts fall short of actual clarification. Finally, Part IV presents possible clarifications to the terms and regulations discussed in Parts I, II, and III.

Introduction

February 11, 2009, 04:55 GMT, approximately 790 kilometers above Siberia. A satellite belonging to Iridium Satellite LLC collided with a decommissioned Russian satellite, rendering Iridium’s satellite nonfunctional. 1Becky Iannotta & Tariq Malik, U.S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision, Space.com (Feb. 11, 2009, 6:00 PM), http://www.space.com/5542-satellite-destroyed-space-collision.html. The fallout for Iridium, a corporation owned by Motorola that provides services to governments and news agencies in remote locations, was relatively minor because a single failed satellite was insufficient to significantly affect their overall satellite network. 2Yuri Pushkin & Melissa Gray, Russian, U.S. Satellites Collide in Space, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/12/us.russia.satellite.crash/index.html?iref=topnews (last updated Feb. 12, 2009). Iridium called the satellite crash a “very low probability event,” 3Iannotta & Malik, supra note 1. but as more private corporations plan both manned and unmanned flights into space, the risk of low probability events will rise exponentially. As Major Regina Winchester of the United States Strategic Command noted about the Iridium incident, “[s]pace is getting pretty crowded. The fact that this hasn’t happened before—maybe we were getting a little bit lucky.” 4Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

International law has entered the final frontier—space. Corporations and private companies are occupying areas of space exploration that were once exclusively the arena of states. 5Markus Hammonds, Asteroid Mining: Booming 21st Century Gold Rush?, Discovery News (Feb. 4, 2013, 12:21 PM), http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroids-meteors-meteorites/could-asteroid-mining-drive-21st-century-space-industry-130204.htm. While states have historically focused on scientific discovery, the commercial sector seeks more lucrative uses of outer space resources: hosting tourist trips, building space stations, and mining projects on passing asteroids. 6Leonard David, Alpha Station: Private Inflatable Space Outpost Envisioned, Space.Com (Jan. 16, 2013, 1:30 PM), http://www.space.com/19291-inflatable-alpha-station-bigelow-aerospace.html; Press Release, NASA, NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station (Sept. 16, 2014), http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/september/nasa-chooses-american-companies-to-transport-us-astronauts-to-international; Hammonds, supra note 5. As an increasing number of commercial spaceships leave the Earth’s atmosphere for pursuits more out of this world, what regulations are in place to ensure the safety of passengers, workers, and the Earth below? The United Nations has left the task to each individual nation to impose, inspect, and maintain their own chosen set of regulations on the commercial spacecraft that is launched within their jurisdiction. 7See generally G.A. Res. 59/115, Application of the Concept of the “Launching State” (Dec. 10, 2004). Since 1961, the United Nations has maintained a national registry of space objects. 8See Niklas Hedman, Chief of the Committee Services and Research Section of the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, Registration of Space Objects with the United Nations, Address at UN/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China (Nov. 17–20, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres08E.pdf. As the number of nations with space exploration capabilities continues to grow and private companies have a wider selection of nations to choose as launching states, the international standards of space regulation must transform as well.

This Comment explores how several experienced spacefaring nations govern their space programs and suggests measures that the international community should take to regulate commercial industries as they begin to expand enterprises into outer space. These regulations are necessary to ensure the continued safety of human beings—not just the ones who are thrust into space, but also the ones remaining behind on Earth. It explores the complications arising from regulating a shared outer space arena amongst the many divided nations of Earth, the concept of “launching states,” and how nations will decide which state’s regulations to apply. This Comment identifies the ambiguities that exist in both international customary space law and the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly resolutions on space activity, and will suggest clearer definitions based on the intersection of the two.

Part I provides a brief history of international space law, from its codification and inception in 1967, to the current state of ambiguity present in the United Nations as of 2016. Part II examines and compares the various regulations that spacefaring nations have created and enforced independently to fill in the gaps left by the vague regulations created by the United Nations. Part III looks at the most recent attempt by the United Nations to codify and regulate international space law and argues that this attempt falls short of a real and effective change to international space law that the advent of commercial space tourism and a world with many spacefaring nations requires. Part IV explores what possible regulations enforced or promoted on an international level by the United Nations could better clarify ambiguous terms among spacefaring nations. Part V concludes by recognizing the U.N. and the international community’s successes in international space law and reiterates where improvements can be made.

I. History and Background of International Space Law

In 1959, the United Nations first identified the need for international cooperation in outer space with the establishment of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA). 9G.A. Res. 1472 (XIV), International Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, at 5 (Dec. 12, 1959); Members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, U.N. Office for Outer Space Aff., http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/members/index.html (last visited Jan. 17, 2016). The nations of the world first enacted a concrete agreement on space exploration in 1967 with the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (TPGASEUOS). 10See G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Dec. 19, 1967). This treaty did not address commercial activities in space, likely because only states had the capacity for space travel when the treaty was framed. 11Frans G. von der Dunk, Beyond What? Beyond Earth Orbit?. . .!: The Applicability of the Registration Convention to Private Commercial Manned Sub-Orbital Spaceflight, 43 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 269, 293 (2013) [hereinafter von der Dunk, Beyond What?]. The language of the TPGASEUOS recognizes space exploration as just that—exploration. 12G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10. The treaty discusses space exploration as “for the benefit and in the interests of all countries,” and astronauts are described as “envoys for all mankind.” 13Id. arts. I, V. The TPGASEOUS did detail one important function of state jurisdiction over objects launched into space—it clarified that states retained their jurisdiction over objects they launch into space from the time of the launch until after reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. 14 Id. art. VIII.

After 1967, the United Nations began to make headway in imposing a few regulations upon the international community. The creation of a registry of space objects is one such regulation. 15G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Nov. 12, 1974). In 1974, the United Nations adopted the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (CROLOS) and began requiring each launching state to register certain information with the U.N. Secretary-General about objects launched into space, including the name of the launching state, a way to identify the space object, the date and territory of the launch, the object’s basic orbital parameters, and the general function of the space object. 16Id. art. IV; see also Hedman, supra note 8 (showing the UNOOSA template). However, the information supplied to the U.N. registry was not always uniform. 17See Hedman, supra note 8.

A state may become a launching state, and thus be obligated to report this information to the United Nations, in one of four ways: (1) when a state launches a space object; (2) when a state procures for the launching of a space object; (3) when a state has a space object launched from its territory; or (4) when a state has a space object launched from its facility. 18G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. I. When two or more states simultaneously fulfill the requirements to be the launching state for a single space object, the United Nations allows the two states to come to a joint agreement as to which state will be considered the launching state. 19Id. art. II.

The decision as to which state is deemed the launching state has several implications for the state itself. The launching state assumes absolute liability for any damage done to property on Earth or to an aircraft within Earth’s airspace. 20Id. art. VII. This absolute liability does not extend to nationals of the launching state seeking claims, nor to foreign nationals who are involved in the launch. 21Id. Once in outer space, the launching state is absolutely liable for damage done to other states’ space objects. 22Id. In some cases, absolute liability of the launching state can be applied even to states that have not ratified the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (CILFDCSO), as some negotiations have found the principle of absolute liability for space activities to be recognized as a principle of customary international law. 23See G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (Sept. 1972); Paul Dempsey, Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects Under International and National Law, at 12 (2011) (unpublished comment) (on file with McGill University) [hereinafter Dempsey, Liability for Damage]; Settlement of Claim Between Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for Damage Caused by “Cosmos 954” (Released on April 2, 1981), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, http://www.jaxa.jp/library/space_law/chapter_3/3-2-2-1_e.html (last visited Jan. 17, 2016). Interestingly, there is no mention of liability for damage done to celestial bodies in any space treaty or convention created by the United Nations. 24Matthew Feinman, Mining the Final Frontier: Keeping Earth’s Asteroid Mining Ventures from Becoming the Next Gold Rush, 14 Pitt. J. Tech. L. & Pol’y 202, 216 (2014); see also G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VII.

Beyond the registration of space objects and the jurisdiction and liability of the launching state, the United Nations has been either vague or completely silent as to what further regulations the spacefaring nations of the world should enforce. The United Nations only recommends that states “consider enacting and implementing national laws authorizing and providing for continuing supervision of the activities in outer space of non-governmental entities under their jurisdiction.” 25G.A. Res. 59/115, supra note 7. In fact, the United Nations does not even provide, nor is there an international consensus, for where Earth’s airspace ends and outer space begins. 26Von der Dunk, Beyond What?, supra note 11, at 280–85. There is similar ambiguity regarding the definition of a space object within the international community. 27Yan Ling, Comments on the Chinese Space Regulations, 7 Chinese J. Int’l L. 681, 686 (2008). Under the current U.N. model, states are left almost entirely to their own devices in creating, implementing, and enforcing regulations for objects launched into space. 28See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15. Taking up the U.N.’s recommendation, several spacefaring states have enacted their own sets of regulations governing space launches and travel, discussed below. 29See Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Ling, supra note 27, at 681–89.

II. National Space Regulations of Spacefaring States

This Part will discuss and analyze the various national space regulations imposed by states in response to the U.N.’s call for spacefaring nations to regulate their own outer space activity, and what bodies within these states exist to enforce said regulations. Part II.A looks at the regulations currently in force in the United States and how the U.S. government enforces these rights. Part II.B looks at the space regulations of other spacefaring states with newer programs, with a special focus on the development of Chinese space regulations as an emerging power among spacefaring states. Part II.C looks more globally at the U.S.’s efforts, in conjunction with efforts by the European Union (EU), to develop an international consensus among space regulations based on the European Union’s own Code of Conduct for Outer Space.

A. Space Law of the United States

The United States requires that any U.S. citizen launching an object into outer space acquire a license or permit, regardless of whether the launch occurs within the territorial United States, unless the United States has an agreement that states otherwise with the foreign government where the launch occurs. 3051 U.S.C. § 50904. In the United States, multiple agencies oversee commercial space activities, and all three branches of the U.S. government are involved in the creation of regulations concerning such activities. 31See Henry R. Hertzfeld, Presentation at the United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China: National Space Law: The United States (Nov. 18, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres15E.pdf. The United States gives the Secretary of Transportation power to enforce compliance with these regulations, including the authority to “prevent the launch or reentry [of space objects] if the Secretary decides the launch or reentry would jeopardize public health and safety, safety of property, or national security or national foreign policy interest of the United States.” 3251 U.S.C. § 50904; see also Exec. Order No. 12465, 49 Fed. Reg. 7211 (1984). The Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) each have the power to preempt the launch or reentry of a commercial space flight in times of “imperative national need.” 3351 U.S.C. § 50904. This power, however, is checked considerably; the Secretary of Defense and the Administrator of NASA are required to consult with the Secretary of Transportation, and, seven days after acting, submit a report to Congress justifying the preemption and providing a schedule allowing for the prompt reentry or relaunch of the commercial space object. 34Id.

The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Act also contains a provision governing advertisements in space. 35Id. The Secretary of Transportation may not grant a license for a space launch that will be “used for the purposes of obtrusive space advertising.” 36Id. However, it is left to the Secretary of Transportation’s discretion to deny or allow the launch of non-obtrusive commercial space advertisements, or to alternatively be placed on launching facilities. 37Id.

The United States also requires before launch, perhaps in response to the CILFDCSO, 38G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23. a showing that any commercial launching entity either has liability insurance or has “demonstrated financial responsibility in amounts to compensate for the maximum probable loss from claims” by a third party or the U.S. government. 3951 U.S.C. § 50904. The exact amount of insurance or determination as to whether the entity has the proper financial capacity to offset liability is decided through an interagency process, involving the Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of NASA, the Secretary of the U.S. Air Force, and the “heads of other appropriate executive agencies.” 40Id. (noting that the claimed amount should not exceed $500 million or $100 million, for third party or government claims, respectively); see also Hertzfeld, supra note 31 (explaining how the United States uses an interagency approach to governing space affairs and thus avoids delegating this power to a single agency).

The National Registry of the United States registers functional objects as well as some secondary objects deriving from launches. 41Hedman, supra note 8. Prior to 2008, the United States registered objects broken off from already registered space objects; it no longer does so, nor does it register foreign space objects. 42Id. The United States does not use the UNOOSA’s template for registration, but “provides comparable information as recommended in resolution 62/101.” 43G.A. Res. 62/101, Recommendations on Enhancing the Practice of States and International Intergovernmental Organizations in Registering Space Objects (Jan. 10, 2008); see also Hedman, supra note 8.

As recently as December 2015, the United States implemented a statute that allows for private U.S. citizens to “possess, own, transport, use, and sell” any “space resources” or “asteroid resources” that they recover. 44See Space Resource Commercial Exploration and Utilization, 51 U.S.C. § 51301 (2015). This statute defines both of these terms, noting that the definition of “space resource” encompasses “asteroid resource.” A space resource is defined in the statute as “an abiotic resource in situ in outer space,” and an asteroid resource is simply a space resource recovered from an asteroid. 45Id.

B. Space Regulations of Other States

The number of states with spacefaring capabilities has grown since the two-nation era of the space race. 46James L. Reed, The Commercial Space Launch Market and Bilateral Trade Agreement in Space Launch Services, 13 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 157, 211 (1999) (noting that Ukraine, China, Japan, Brazil, and India emerged into the international space-launching market). In fact, about twenty-six member states engage in and regulate space activities 47Paul Stephen Dempsey, Tomlinson Professor and Dir. of the Inst. of Air & Space Law at McGill Univ., Presentation at the United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China: National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres06E.pdf [hereinafter Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities]. and licensing issues, both to remedy holes left by international regulations as well as to address nation-specific concerns regarding space activity. 48See Dempsey, Liability for Damage, supra note 23, at 3.

1. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom (U.K.) has legislation similar to the United States requiring all U.K. nationals to obtain a license for activities related to launching space objects, whether those objects are launched within the United Kingdom or outside its borders. 49Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2, 8 (UK). The United Kingdom gives its Secretary of State the power to enforce these regulations and to stop any space launching activity in violation of U.K. or international law. 50Id. §§ 1–2. The United Kingdom also requires its Secretary of State to maintain a national registry of space objects. 51Id. § 7. Unlike several other spacefaring powers, the United Kingdom attempts to define a space object within its laws. The U.K.’s definition includes “the component parts of a space object, its launch vehicle and the component parts of that.” 52Id. This definition, similar to what the United Nations provides in the CROLOS, defines what is included within “space objects” but fails to define a space object itself. 53G.A, Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15.

2. China

Space policy in China, one of the rising states in space exploration, is governed by the “White Paper.” 54China Nat’l Space Admin., China’s Space Activities (White Paper) 1 (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html. This law gives officers of the Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense the right to be present and inspect relevant activities related to space flight, but does not specifically stipulate the rights these officers have as far as enforcement during inspections. 55Ling, supra note 27, at 685. The Commission also issues licenses to private entities for space launches and looks at “compliance with national environmental laws and regulations, proof of prevention of pollution and space debris, [as well as requiring] a safety design report . . . and supplementary information concerning the reliability of their Safety Critical Systems” before issuing them. 56Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47. Beyond this, China’s space law is underdeveloped, with pending legislation 57Xu Yu, Presentation at U.N. Workshop on Space Law: Regulations of Space Activities in China (Nov. 2010), http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/pres/2010/SLW2010/02-06.pdf. and regulations written by the Chinese National Space Administration (CNSA) expected to pass by 2020. 58China Expects to Introduce Space Law Around 2020, China Nat’l Space Admin. (Nov. 18, 2014), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n360696/n361228/n361378/656700.html. Regionally, China actively encourages cooperation among Asian spacefaring states as a founding member of the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO) 59China’s Space Activities (White Paper), China Nat’l Space Admin. (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html. and by hosting a Workshop on Space Law between the UNOOSA, the China National Space Administration and APSCO. 602014 United Nation/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Org., http://www.apsco.int/NewsOne.asp?ID=357 (last visited Feb. 12, 2016). China records only functional objects in its national registry, though it does register foreign objects that it had a part in launching. 61Hedman, supra note 8. China uses the UNOOSA’s registration template. 62Id.

3. Inspection and Enforcement

Australia appoints an officer with the authority to inspect launch sites within the country, and these officers have more stipulated powers, including the ability to stop launches or destroy space objects to avoid danger to public health, persons, or property. 63Ling, supra note 27, at 685. For a private entity to obtain a launch license in Australia, the entity must submit both the design and engineering plans of the launch vehicle to be reviewed as well as present “their organizational structure and financial fitness, their program management plan, their technology security plan, and their emergency plan” before any launch can take place. 64Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47. In South Africa, a similar system is in place where inspectors have the power to inspect and be present at launch sites to ensure that these sites are complying with regulations; the inspectors are also obligated to report any safety risks. 65Ling, supra note 27, at 685. These inspectors have the power to revoke licenses for failure to comply. 66Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47. Sweden also designates an authority to inspect the launching of space objects and report findings to the government, and allows for imprisonment for up to one year for violations of its space laws. 67Id.; Ling, supra note 27, at 685. Japan and France both impose fines for conducting unauthorized space launch activities. 68Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

4. National Registries

Japan and Russia register only functional objects in their national registries, and while neither country registers foreign space objects, Russia does mention them in its submissions to the United Nations. 69Hedman, supra note 8. India registers functional objects and upper stages of launch vehicles, while France registers those two as well as payload adapters from launch vehicles. 70Id. Nearly every state with spacefaring capabilities registers, at a minimum, functional objects and/or national space objects, and does so using the UNOOSA’s template or provides comparable information in compliance with the relevant U.N. convention. 71See id.

5. Liability of Private Launching Entities

In terms of liability, some nations have chosen to enact legislation similar to the United States, extending the liability imposed on the state in the CILFDCSO to the private entity launchers. 72Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47. For example, South Korea requires that private entities who receive launch permits obtain insurance against third party liability, and are required to pay compensation for damage caused by their launch activities. 73Id.; Joon Lee, Korean Space Law, UNOOSA (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres13E.pdf. Other nations, however, have much weaker legislation or completely lack protection against accidents from launches by private entities resulting in damage to third parties or governments. 74Setsuko Aoki, National Space Laws of Japan: Today and Tomorrow, UNOOSA (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres10E.pdf. The Japan Space Exploration Agency assumes liability for damage to third parties resulting from cosigned launches, but third parties are able to claim reimbursement only if the damage is caused by willful misconduct. 75Id.

6. Environmental Protections in National Space Law

Some states have addressed environmental concerns in their space legislation, seeking to minimize the damage to Earth’s environment from space exploration. 76Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47. In Austria, private entities must agree to comply with “state of the art” and “internationally recognized guidelines for the mitigations of space debris” before being issued a license to launch within the state. 77Id. Argentina also includes environmental concerns in its licensing for space launches requiring “that the operator provide information on environmental precautions taken, including mechanism for placement of the space object in a transfer orbit at the end of its useful life, and identify the anticipated date of its recovery, disintegration or loss of contact” before the issuance of any license. 78Id.

Most states require that private entities apply for and receive an operation license before each new launch. 79Id. Russia, an outlier, gives licenses for space launches that can last three years, provided that the entity continues to operate the launches as specified in the license. 80Id.

While the extent of the authority varies by state, almost every nation has some entity that enforces space launches, whether that entity is an already existing government agent or a newly appointed officer. 81See Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–6, 8, 11 (UK); Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Ling, supra note 27, at 685. For example, Australia, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States all give this appointed entity the power to stop any activity that it finds to not be in compliance with the nations’ own regulations, international regulations, or that poses some harm to public safety. 82Id. These are all evidence of an emerging international consensus on how to interpret the U.N.’s recommendations that each state consider when enacting and implanting national laws providing for the supervision of activities of non-governmental organizations in outer space. 83See G.A. Res. 68/74, Recommendations on National Legislation Relevant to the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space (Dec. 11, 2013) (recognizing the different approaches taken by states in dealing with various aspects of national space activities).

C. The European Union’s and the United States’ Attempt at International Space Law Consensus

In 2012, the United States expressed its intention to develop, with other spacefaring nations in the international community, an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space (ICCOS). 84Brian Wessel, The Rule of Law in Outer Space: The Effects of Treaties and Nonbinding Agreements on International Space Law, 35 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 289, 297 (2012); Press Release, Hillary Rodham Clinton, International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (Jan. 17, 2012), http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/01/180969.htm. ICCOS was developed in response to the increased amount of space debris and the increased risk of weaponized space objects as the number of spacefaring nations increased. 85 An International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities: Strengthening Long-Term Sustainability, Stability, Safety, and Security in Space, U.S. Dep’t State Bureau Pub. Aff. (Jan. 17, 2012), http://www.state.gov/r/pa/pl/2012/180998.htm [hereinafter An International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, U.S. Dep’t State]. ICCOS was to be worked on with and modeled after the E.U. Code of Conduct for Outer Space. 86Id.; Wessel, supra note 84, at 297. The most current draft of this E.U. Code of Conduct for Outer Space came out in March 2014 and does not do much to clarify the ambiguities that persist in both the international community and U.N. space regulations. 87Draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities art. 5.1 (Mar. 31, 2014), http://www.eeas.europa.eu/non-proliferation-and-disarmament/pdf/space_code_conduct_draft_vers_31-march-2014_en.pdf.

The most recent draft of the ICCOS is guilty of many of the same ambiguities to which the various U.N. conventions on outer space fall victim. 88 Id. It fails to provide any definition for the term “space object,” however it does make a distinction between space object and space debris, providing an example of what a space object is not. 89Id. art. 4.3. It does not provide any definition for outer space. 90See generally id. It introduces the term “space environment” without giving any definition as to what it means. 91Id. art. 1.1.

A nation that has noticeably not joined the United States and Europe in discussions towards the creation of the ICCOS is China. 92Michael Listner, Code of Conduct: Corrections, Updates, and Thoughts Going Forward, Space Rev. (June 18, 2012), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2101/1 [hereinafter Listner, Code of Conduct]. China, among others, was concerned that Asian-Pacific nations were not consulted during the initial drafting of the ICCOS. 93Michael Listner, EU Takes the Next Shot in the Battle of the Codes, Space Rev. (June 4, 2012), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2092/1. China has pledged to cooperate in all of its space activities. 94Listner, Code of Conduct, supra note 92; China’s Space Activities (White Paper), China Nat’l Space Admin. (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html. Russia and China are each party to competing international space cooperation treaties, such as the Treaty on Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space and of the Threat or Use of Force against Outer Space Objects (PPWT), which have many of the same objectives as the Western-led ICCOS. 95Listner, Code of Conduct, supra note 92; Letter from Valery Loshinin, Permanent Representative of Russia to the Conference on Disarmament, and Wang Qun, Permanent Representative of China, to the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament (Feb. 29, 2008) (on file with author). This struggle for power between nations over the future of international space regulation emphasizes the underlying problem created by the lack of well-defined U.N. regulations.

III. U.N. Solutions to the Commercial Era of Space and Their Shortcomings

Recognizing the similar ways in which the spacefaring states of the world interpreted the treaties and conventions on space law laid out previously, the United Nations attempted to formalize what it perceived as the emergent customary international law of space in 2013 with its Recommendations on National Legislation Relevant to the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space. 96G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83. The United Nations recognized and recommended the key ways that spacefaring nations had regulated their space activity. 97Id. It recommended the scope of national regulations over space similar to many of the regulations of the various spacefaring states of launch and reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. 98Id. Similar to the U.K. and U.S. legislation, it recommends that states exercise their jurisdiction over their citizens conducting space activities even outside of their territory. 99Id.; see Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2 (UK); Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014). It recommends creating a national authority with the power to revoke authorization of space activities, as nearly every spacefaring nation has done. 100G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; see Ling, supra note 27, at 685. It also echoes the language of U.S. regulatory space law in that it lists not only the safety of persons, environment, and property, but also the national security and foreign policy interests of the states as relevant conditions for enforcement by regulatory authorities. 101G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; see 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (noting that the Secretary may prevent the launch or reentry “if the Secretary decides the launch or reentry would jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, or national security or foreign policy interest of the United States”). The U.N.’s attempt to formalize the regulations that the majority of spacefaring nations have already enacted is subject to the same shortcomings as several independent state regulations. For example, the United Nations again fails to give a definition to the term “space object,” 102G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83. and fails to even hint at where outer space begins. 103Id. It does not attempt to provide any sort of framework or suggestion for how multiple launching states might decide which state shall register, perhaps believing that it settled the confusion around this question with its 2008 clarification. 104 See id.; G.A. Res. 62/101, supra note 43, ¶ 3(b)–(d).

With the entrance of commercial actors into the space arena, and as multinational corporations have begun launching out of various states, the question of which state has the jurisdiction and responsibilities of the launching state has become even more confusing. 105See Jonathan C. Thomas, Spatialis Liberum, 7 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 579, 590–91, 598, 628 (2006). The United Nations recognized the possibility of two or more states qualifying as “launching States” in the CROLOS, 106G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15. but this Convention was drafted and signed by nations who believed space travel would be solely for the purpose of exploration and scientific research for the foreseeable future. 107See Julie C. Easter, Spring Break 2023—Sea of Tranquility: The Effect of Space Tourism on Outer Space Law and World Policy in the New Millennium, 26 Suffolk Transnat’l L. Rev. 349, 366–67 (2003). At the time these treaties were drafted, most nations did not foresee the existence of commercial space activity and the bodies governing space travel, such as the UNOOSA, reflect this shortcoming. 108Id. at 371–72.

As early as the 1990s, multinational space-launching companies had begun to emerge in the international community, comprised of citizens from nations including the United States, Ukraine, Russia, France, and Norway. 109Elizabeth Seebode Waldrop, Integration of Military and Civilian Space Assets: Legal and National Security Implications, 55 A.F. L. Rev. 157, 165–66 (2004). Many of these multinational corporations launch their satellites overseas, partly because there is a shortage of launch sites in the United States to match the demand for satellites launched into space. 110See Thomas, supra note 105, at 590–91. Thus, situations are created in which multiple nations can all claim legitimacy as launching states. 111See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II; Waldrop, supra note 108. In such a situation, every nation involved has an equally legitimate claim under the CROLOS. Only an agreement negotiated among states themselves can decide which state shall become the launching state. 112See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II. The CROLOS does not give power to non-governmental organizations to determine or influence which state shall be considered the launching state. 113Id. (specifying that only launching states have a role in the determination). Space law treaties drafted by the United Nations also fail to provide multinational corporations a role in determining which state shall be considered the launching state. 114Easter, supra note 107, at 371–73.

In 2008, the United Nations attempted to further clarify the CROLOS with its Recommendations on Enhancing the Practice of States and International Intergovernmental Organization in Registering Space Objects. 115See G.A. Res. 62/101, supra note 43. The U.N.’s attempt failed to clarify the launching state dilemma in the following ways. First, it still failed to provide any definition for a space object. 116Id. Second, it failed to provide any clarification on the order of prioritization among qualifying launching states, only recommending that launching states should “contact States or international intergovernmental organizations that could qualify as ‘launching States’ to jointly determine which State or entity should register the space object.” 117Id. ¶ 3(b); see G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II (“Where there are two or more launching States in respect of any such space object, they shall jointly determine which one of them shall register the object . . . .”). The decision as to which state is considered the launching state has serious implications, not only for the regulations governing the launch and reentry of the space object, but also for the jurisdiction over the object while in space. 118See G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VIII. Further, whichever country is considered the launching state will retain jurisdiction over any mining operation or other commercial site the multinational corporation might establish on an asteroid or other celestial body, making the definition of the launching state even more crucial for the purposes of commercial space ventures. 119Charles Stotler, The ASTEROIDS Act and Hearing: Some Observations on International Obligations, Space Rev. (Sept. 22, 2014), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2604/1; see also G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. IX.

IV. Attempts to Clarify Ambiguous Terms

This Part seeks to clarify several of the terms left undefined by the United Nations and the international spacefaring community. Part IV.A explores possible definitions for the term “space object” based on comparisons between different interstate treaties as well as the definitions for “space object” found in U.N. treaties. Part IV.B addresses perhaps the greatest ambiguity in space law: the lack of a single defined height limit for Earth’s airspace. It explores the ambiguities and attempts to suggest how, despite the manner in which the international community and United Nations have actively avoided this question, a limit could be internationally agreed upon. Part IV.C considers and attempts to answer the question of whether celestial bodies can or should be included in the definition of outer space, and if they are not to be included, where the air space of these celestial bodies should end. Part IV.D discusses a term clearly defined by the United Nations—the “launching state”—and considers how the freedom of selecting launching states could harm the commercial space-launching sector, which clearer launching state selection might improve. Part IV.E examines the problem of incomplete space registries and how solutions to the problems presented in Parts IV.C and D could cure these deficiencies.

A. Defining “Space Object”

The United Nations has not provided any definition for the term “space object,” and no international consensus has been affirmatively reached on what the term means. As mentioned earlier, the United Kingdom defined “space object” in its statute on space exploration as including “the component parts of a space object, its launch vehicle and the component parts of that.” 120Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK). The term “space object” is not defined within the several multilateral treaties on space exploration to which the United States is a party, although the term “launch vehicle” is defined in several of the treaties as “an object, or any part thereof, intended for launch, launched from Earth, or returning to Earth which carries Payloads, persons, or both,” 121Framework Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Argentine Republic on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, U.S.-Arg., at 13, Oct. 25, 2011, T.I.A.S. No. 13-0730 [hereinafter Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg.]. or “an object, or any part thereof, intended for launch, launched from Earth into air space or outer space, or returning to Earth, which carries Payloads or persons, or both.” 122Framework Agreement Between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Indian Space Research Organisation for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, U.S.-India, art. 2(2), Feb. 1, 2008, T.I.A.S. No. 09-201 [hereinafter Framework Agreement, U.S.-India]; Framework Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the French Republic for Cooperative Activities in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, U.S.-Fr., art. 9(4), Jan. 23, 2007, T.I.A.S. No. 09-107 (containing a similar definition for “launch vehicle”). Several of these treaties also identify and define the term “transfer vehicle” as “any vehicle that operates in space and transfers a Payload or person or both between two different space objects, between two different places on the same space object, or between a space object and the surface of a celestial body.” 123Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7); Framework Agreement, U.S.-India, supra note 122, art. 2(6). A relevant aspect of the definitions of transfer vehicle found in these treaties is the absence of any mention of vehicles that transport goods to and from the surface of the same celestial object. 124Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7); Framework Agreement, U.S.-India, supra note 122, art. 2(6). Assuming launch vehicles and transfer vehicles are space objects, the lack of a definition in U.K. statutes, U.S. treaties, and U.N. conventions for vehicles that move within the same celestial body could mean that airborne vehicles confined to moving in the immediate vicinity of but not within single celestial bodies are not space objects at all, and thus are exempt from registering with the U.N. space body registry. 125See Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7) (including vehicles that depart to and from the same space object in the definition of a transfer vehicle).

The term “space object” is perhaps best determined by what it is not. One of the few definitions that exist comes from the United Kingdom, not an international body, but it is circular in nature, defining a space object as including “the component parts of a space object.” 126Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK). The CROLOS also makes clear that a space object includes its launch vehicle and “component parts of a space object.” 127G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), art. I, Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Nov. 12, 1974). While neither the CROLOS nor the United Kingdom provide an explicit definition of a space object within their space law, they do suggest some aspects of what constitutes a space object. For example, defining a space object as having component parts might suggest that it includes some sort of manmade object. 128See id.; Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK). The inclusion of a launch vehicle in the definition of a space object suggests that a space object is launched into outer space but does not originate in outer space. 129See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. IV; Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK). The ICCOSA makes a distinction between space debris and space objects. 130International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 88, art. 5.1. NASA defines space debris as “both natural (meteoroid) and artificial (man-made) particles.” 131Space Debris and Human Spacecraft, NASA (Sept. 26, 2013), http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/news/orbital_debris.html#.VFnHmvmUcdU. The distinction made between space debris and space objects thus suggests that not all man-made objects in space are space objects as defined by international law. 132See International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 88, arts. 4.2, 5.1.

Any further attempts to define space objects by their relation to space debris is hampered by the fact that “space debris” itself is poorly defined in international space regulations. 133Joseph S. Imburgia, Space Debris and Its Threat to National Security: A Proposal for a Binding International Agreement to Clean up the Junk, 44 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 589, 613 (2011). In fact, the lack of a definition for space debris, and the lack of an articulation of how a space object becomes space debris, makes it unclear whether space debris is merely a type of space object or some separate space entity. 134See id. As space debris becomes more of a problem for other functioning satellites and rockets in space, 135Karl Tate, Space Junk Explained: How Orbital Debris Threatens Future of Spaceflight, Space.com (Oct. 1, 2013, 5:49 PM), http://www.space.com/23039-space-junk-explained-orbital-debris-infographic.html. the responsibility of states to monitor and account for their space debris must be enforced. A stronger definition of space debris, ideally set forth by a binding resolution of the U.N. General Assembly, can help with that enforcement by including only man-made debris in the definition of space objects and by creating a more rigidly enforced registration system encouraging nations to monitor their defunct space debris.

The TPGASEUOS provides another aspect of a space object: space objects are objects that remain under the jurisdiction of a launching state. 136G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VIII. Compiling and analyzing the information and definitions given in the General Assembly resolutions, national statutes and international treaties, a working definition of space object can be reached. The working definition could read as follows: “A man-made object, launched into outer space, including its launching materials, over which a state retains jurisdiction.” However, this definition is still ambiguous. For example, must a space object be launched into outer space from Earth? Are transfer vehicles built from space materials, which are launched from outer space into outer space considered to be space objects? These are all questions that the United Nations should seek to clarify or expand upon in the definition of a space object as the commercial space industry begins to make these considerations a possibility. 137See Hammonds, supra note 5; Stotler, supra note 119.

B. Clarifying the Boundary between Earth and Outer Space

Perhaps the greatest problem in establishing the boundary between Earth and outer space is the U.N.’s inability to provide a clear definition of outer space, coupled with the international community’s overall inability to reach a consensus on the subject. As of the time of this publication, no international body has agreed on a clear definition of where air space ends and where outer space begins. 138Dean N. Reinhardt, The Vertical Limit of State Sovereignty, 72 J. Air L. & Com. 65, 66 (2007). In the history of the United States, the point at which outer space begins has fluctuated depending on when and by whom it was defined. 139See id. at 84–88. The point at which outer space begins as defined by various U.S. officials has varied from fifty miles to ten thousand miles above Earth’s surface, with the current height left officially undefined. 140See id. at 85–88 (noting that nations such as Germany and the United Kingdom currently do not have definitions of the upper limit of airspace). Other nations, while all claiming the rights over their airspace, have similarly neglected or declined to establish a limit on where this airspace ends. 141See id. at 81–84. In the Bogota Declaration of 1976, Brazil, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kenya, Uganda, and Zaire declared sovereignty of their air space as high as the geostationary orbit over their nations, arguing the geostationary orbit was a natural resource owned by the respective nations. 142The Bogota Declaration (1976), reprinted in 6 J. Space L. 193, 193 (1978); see also Susan Cahill, Give Me My Space: Implications for Permitting National Appropriation of the Geostationary Orbit, 19 Wis. Int’l L.J. 231, 240 (2001). Both international treaties and conventions dealing with airspace over nations as well as those dealing with outer space either do not address or do not reach any sort of consensus on the limit of their airspace when defining the rights and regulations existing within the two zones. 143Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66. For international treaties and conventions that do not include a definition, see Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation, Oct. 13, 1919, 11 L.N.T.S. 173; Convention on International Civil Aviation, Dec. 7, 1944, 61 Stat. 1180; G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10. Leaving it to individual states to determine the limits of their own airspace and sovereignty has led to the absence of states seeking to give any exact height so as not to limit their sovereignty any more than necessary. 144See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66. When nations launch objects into space, they must occasionally fly through the sovereign air space of foreign nations in order to reach space stations, including the International Space Station. 145Lara L. Manzione, Multinational Investment in the Space Station: An Outer Space Model for International Cooperation?, 18 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 507, 519 (2002). No nation has ever raised a complaint against another nation for entering its air space when the object was being launched into space. 146Id. Some have argued that this practice has become customary international law allowing free passage to objects entering space, 147Id. but this only further complicates the established limits of air space and raises questions as to when objects become space objects.

The lack of U.N. leadership or strongly-worded conventions is more apparent here than anywhere else. The United Nations must seek to establish a uniform limitation on the height of air space over Earth. One proposed height limit that the United Nations should endorse involves the lowest altitude a satellite can remain in orbit without being destroyed by friction with the air. 148See James, A. Beckman, Citizens Without a Forum: The Lack of an Appropriate and Consistent Remedy for United States Citizens Injured or Killed as the Result of Activity Above the Territorial Air Space, 22 B.C. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 249, 254 (1999). This limit has been criticized because advances in technology will allow objects to orbit Earth more closely, effectively lowering the limit of the air space around Earth. 149Beckman, supra note 148, at 254. Organizations have suggested solutions to this problem, such as fixing the established air height to the lowest altitude a satellite could maintain on January 27, 1976, the date of the signing of the first outer space treaty. 150Id. Establishing a fixed point for the boundary of Earth’s airspace, especially one based on technology from almost thirty years ago, is not the best regulation to impose on the world. A way for the international community to resolve ambiguity on one of the most contested definitions in space law is to fix the height to account for evolutions in technology. This approach will create a law flexible enough to withstand the constantly changing technologies and allow for the interaction between humanity and outer space.

C. Celestial Bodies as Distinct from Outer Space

The next ambiguous term in international space law is “outer space.” As mentioned above, no nation or international treaty has reached a consensus on where the Earth’s airspace ends and outer space begins. 151Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66. After establishing the end of the Earth’s airspace and the beginning of outer space, there is still ambiguity as to what exactly constitutes outer space beyond Earth’s boundaries. The language of international treaties and national space regulations always append the phrase “and the moon and other celestial bodies.” This phrasing suggests that the definition of outer space includes anywhere beyond Earth’s boundaries, wherever that might be, or conversely suggests that the term outer space on its own does not include “the moon and other celestial bodies. 152See, e.g., Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 7 (UK); G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10. The consistent addition of “the moon and other celestial bodies” might only serve as clarification for any state attempting to claim any part of the moon or various celestial bodies that exist outside the Earth, clarifying that the provisions of the TPGASEUOS disallows such actions in these areas. The distinction might also be borne out of an awareness of the future possibility that outer space will no longer be part of a binary Earth and non-Earth definition of outer space, but will be distinguished from certain celestial bodies with heavy commercial or human presence. 153Feinman, supra note 24, at 205–06. As the commercial sector expands onto celestial bodies, the United Nations, as well as spacefaring states, should seek to revisit the very definition and concept of outer space. 154See id.

The concept of a definition of outer space that does not include certain celestial bodies raises a still unanswered question regarding the planets and asteroids above—the problem of determining where the airspace of a commercial site on an asteroid or other celestial body ends and where outer space begins again. Here, it could be useful to use Article IX of the TPGASEUOS, which requires that states take measures to avoid harmful interference with another state’s exploration and use of outer space. 155G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. IX; see Stotler, supra note 119. In general, the height limit of airspace on Earth extends somewhat beyond what most would consider harmful interference. 156See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 87. On a commercial site, such as a mining operation, both the lack of an atmosphere on certain celestial bodies (like asteroids), as well as the lower height were harmful interference would occur, suggest a much lower and perhaps more easily defined demarcation of where outer space begins and ends past the celestial body. 157See Stotler, supra note 119.

The ambiguity in defining where outer space begins and ends in relation to celestial bodies is compounded by the ambiguity surrounding how outer space is defined. 158See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 86. Although it does not define outer space, the TPGASEUOS makes clear that it applies to “Outer Space, including the moon and celestial bodies.” 159G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. I. In fact, the term outer space in the TPGASEUOS is almost always followed by the phrase “including the moon and Celestial bodies.” 160Id. The fact that the TPGASEUOS made explicitly clear multiple times that it was including “the moon and celestial bodies” in the specific article regulation suggests that the definition of outer space alone does not include the moon and celestial bodies unless specifically mentioned. Employing this logic, the definition of outer space might also exclude the space resources introduced by U.S. legislation in 2015, placing any resources that might be mined by a private entity outside the boundary of outer space. 161Space Resource Commercial Exploration and Utilization, 51 U.S.C. § 51301 (2015).

D. Resolving the Uncertainty in Launching State Selection

The ambiguity present in the selection of a “launching state” is another area where more precise definitions and leadership by the United Nations are needed. Unlike the other ambiguous terms, the definition and requirements of a launching state are clearly laid out by the United Nations in several of its treaties and conventions governing international space law. 162G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15; G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23, art. I. The ambiguity arises when multiple states qualify as the launching state. 163See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II. The decision of which state shall be the launching state is left entirely to agreements between the nations, without any other guidelines or factors to be considered. 164Id. But see Frans G. von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management in a New Space Era: Military, Commercial, and Tourism Dimensions: Passing the Buck to Rogers: International Liability Issues in Private Spaceflight, 86 Neb. L. Rev. 400, 411 (2007) (discussing the possibility of a private launch operator launching a space object from the high seas without any state qualifying as a launch state) [hereinafter von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management]. The problems presented by this ambiguity are especially present in the different ways that states register objects in their national registries and in the information they provide to the United Nations for its registry of space objects.

This ambiguity could be solved in several ways. The United Nations may revisit the concept of a launching state entirely by recognizing the significant impact that the rise of private commercial launching agents have had on the launching state paradigm, especially as it applies to the CILFDCSO. 165Von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management, supra note 164, at 410–11; see also G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23, art. II. Alternatively, the United Nations could develop a hierarchy of launching states where certain launching state qualifications have precedence over others. The spacefaring states of the world could make clear in their treaties and agreements with each other exactly how a launching state will be designated, as some agreements currently do. 166See James L. Reed, The Commercial Space Launch Market and Bilateral Trade Agreements in Space Launch Services, 13 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 157, 162 (1997) (discussing the launch agreement between the United States and China).

E. The Uncertain Registration of Space Objects

Closely related to the problem of ambiguity over the launching state is the ambiguity present in the U.N.’s rules regarding registration of space objects, both with the U.N.’s registries and with the national registries. 167See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15. As mentioned earlier, states differ significantly in what objects and information they provide in their national registries to the United Nations. 168See Hedman, supra note 8 (comparing the registration practices of six different states). A clarification of two previously discussed ambiguous terms, space objects and the launching state, would serve to rectify the current confusion and discord present among different states’ national registries. 169See id. A clearer definition of space objects, specifically a definition including non-functional objects in space, and a more precise selection process for launching states, will allow for the national registries reported to the United Nations to more effectively combat and avoid the dangers that space debris presents to space craft orbiting the earth in outer space—dangers that may cause a repeat of the 2009 satellite collision. 170Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

Conclusion

The United Nations and the international community have succeeded in clarifying international space regulations, and they should continue to uphold and encourage other spacefaring nations to follow customary international law. The existence of regulatory authorities among the spacefaring nations should continue to be fostered by the international community and the United Nations. 171See G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83. The countries that do not specify the powers of their space regulation authorities should be encouraged to enact legislation to provide their authorities with broader enforcement powers. 172Ling, supra note 27, at 681–89.

The international community and the U.N.’s previous attempts to establish as international customary law the jurisdiction over its citizens, even in areas outside the territory of the nation, should be continued because they serve as a model for space regulation. 173See G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2, 8 (UK). Further, the states that currently exercise these types of space jurisdictions should promote it among the other spacefaring nations. This type of jurisdiction ensures the enforcement of regulations in areas where jurisdiction arising from the CROLOS might fall short. 174Von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management, supra note 164, at 411 (2007).

The exploration of outer space has changed significantly since the United Nations passed the TPGASEUOS two years before man would first set foot on the moon. 175G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10. The evolution of space technologies as well as the emergence and growth of commercial ventures into outer space have revealed ambiguities and created shortcomings in the international regulations of outer space that must be addressed to safely continue the expansion of mankind beyond the confines of Earth. The foundation set by the U.N. space treaties and the similarities found in the regulations of the individual spacefaring nations, should serve as a model upon which to base new regulations. But where these regulations confine the evolution of space law through outdated modes of thinking about space exploration or ambiguous definitions of terms of art, the international community, led by the United Nations, must seek to clarify international space regulations to foster the movement of man to the stars.

The United Nations has shown an ability to foster this evolution with its more recent treaties, in which it codified and clarified the growing body of customary international law among the spacefaring states. 176G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83. The international community is also beginning to recognize and create solutions to the need for more uniform international space regulations. 177 See Press Release, Hillary Rodham Clinton, supra note 84; Draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 87. Continued U.N. action that not only recognizes the direction of evolving international space regulations, but also serves as a leader in shaping this area of international law is critical. Clarifying the ambiguity as to where outer space lies, what a space object is, and how a launching state should be chosen are all questions the international community must answer as space exploration and commercial ventures beyond the Earth continue to expand. The international spacefaring community has grown since the first satellite escaped Earth’s orbit and entered outer space. 178Hammonds, supra note 5. Outer space has become more crowded, and it appears that it will only continue to do so in the future. 179See id.; Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2. The international community has been very fortunate, even lucky, that the number of international space incidents have remained as low as they have, 180Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2. but the time for the international community to rely on luck has ended. The time for true international consensus and cooperation, led by definitive words from the United Nations, has come.

Footnotes

1Becky Iannotta & Tariq Malik, U.S. Satellite Destroyed in Space Collision, Space.com (Feb. 11, 2009, 6:00 PM), http://www.space.com/5542-satellite-destroyed-space-collision.html.

2Yuri Pushkin & Melissa Gray, Russian, U.S. Satellites Collide in Space, CNN, http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/12/us.russia.satellite.crash/index.html?iref=topnews (last updated Feb. 12, 2009).

3Iannotta & Malik, supra note 1.

4Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

5Markus Hammonds, Asteroid Mining: Booming 21st Century Gold Rush?, Discovery News (Feb. 4, 2013, 12:21 PM), http://news.discovery.com/space/asteroids-meteors-meteorites/could-asteroid-mining-drive-21st-century-space-industry-130204.htm.

6Leonard David, Alpha Station: Private Inflatable Space Outpost Envisioned, Space.Com (Jan. 16, 2013, 1:30 PM), http://www.space.com/19291-inflatable-alpha-station-bigelow-aerospace.html; Press Release, NASA, NASA Chooses American Companies to Transport U.S. Astronauts to International Space Station (Sept. 16, 2014), http://www.nasa.gov/press/2014/september/nasa-chooses-american-companies-to-transport-us-astronauts-to-international; Hammonds, supra note 5.

7See generally G.A. Res. 59/115, Application of the Concept of the “Launching State” (Dec. 10, 2004).

8See Niklas Hedman, Chief of the Committee Services and Research Section of the U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs, Registration of Space Objects with the United Nations, Address at UN/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China (Nov. 17–20, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres08E.pdf.

9G.A. Res. 1472 (XIV), International Co-operation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, at 5 (Dec. 12, 1959); Members of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, U.N. Office for Outer Space Aff., http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/members/index.html (last visited Jan. 17, 2016).

10See G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (Dec. 19, 1967).

11Frans G. von der Dunk, Beyond What? Beyond Earth Orbit?. . .!: The Applicability of the Registration Convention to Private Commercial Manned Sub-Orbital Spaceflight, 43 Cal. W. Int’l L.J. 269, 293 (2013) [hereinafter von der Dunk, Beyond What?].

12G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10.

13Id. arts. I, V.

14 Id. art. VIII.

15G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Nov. 12, 1974).

16Id. art. IV; see also Hedman, supra note 8 (showing the UNOOSA template).

17See Hedman, supra note 8.

18G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. I.

19Id. art. II.

20Id. art. VII.

21Id.

22Id.

23See G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (Sept. 1972); Paul Dempsey, Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects Under International and National Law, at 12 (2011) (unpublished comment) (on file with McGill University) [hereinafter Dempsey, Liability for Damage]; Settlement of Claim Between Canada and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for Damage Caused by “Cosmos 954” (Released on April 2, 1981), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, http://www.jaxa.jp/library/space_law/chapter_3/3-2-2-1_e.html (last visited Jan. 17, 2016).

24Matthew Feinman, Mining the Final Frontier: Keeping Earth’s Asteroid Mining Ventures from Becoming the Next Gold Rush, 14 Pitt. J. Tech. L. & Pol’y 202, 216 (2014); see also G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VII.

25G.A. Res. 59/115, supra note 7.

26Von der Dunk, Beyond What?, supra note 11, at 280–85.

27Yan Ling, Comments on the Chinese Space Regulations, 7 Chinese J. Int’l L. 681, 686 (2008).

28See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15.

29See Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Ling, supra note 27, at 681–89.

3051 U.S.C. § 50904.

31See Henry R. Hertzfeld, Presentation at the United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China: National Space Law: The United States (Nov. 18, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres15E.pdf.

3251 U.S.C. § 50904; see also Exec. Order No. 12465, 49 Fed. Reg. 7211 (1984).

3351 U.S.C. § 50904.

34Id.

35Id.

36Id.

37Id.

38G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23.

3951 U.S.C. § 50904.

40Id. (noting that the claimed amount should not exceed $500 million or $100 million, for third party or government claims, respectively); see also Hertzfeld, supra note 31 (explaining how the United States uses an interagency approach to governing space affairs and thus avoids delegating this power to a single agency).

41Hedman, supra note 8.

42Id.

43G.A. Res. 62/101, Recommendations on Enhancing the Practice of States and International Intergovernmental Organizations in Registering Space Objects (Jan. 10, 2008); see also Hedman, supra note 8.

44See Space Resource Commercial Exploration and Utilization, 51 U.S.C. § 51301 (2015).

45Id.

46James L. Reed, The Commercial Space Launch Market and Bilateral Trade Agreement in Space Launch Services, 13 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 157, 211 (1999) (noting that Ukraine, China, Japan, Brazil, and India emerged into the international space-launching market).

47Paul Stephen Dempsey, Tomlinson Professor and Dir. of the Inst. of Air & Space Law at McGill Univ., Presentation at the United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Beijing, China: National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres06E.pdf [hereinafter Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities].

48See Dempsey, Liability for Damage, supra note 23, at 3.

49Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2, 8 (UK).

50Id. §§ 1–2.

51Id. § 7.

52Id.

53G.A, Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15.

54China Nat’l Space Admin., China’s Space Activities (White Paper) 1 (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html.

55Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

56Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

57Xu Yu, Presentation at U.N. Workshop on Space Law: Regulations of Space Activities in China (Nov. 2010), http://www.unoosa.org/pdf/pres/2010/SLW2010/02-06.pdf.

58China Expects to Introduce Space Law Around 2020, China Nat’l Space Admin. (Nov. 18, 2014), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n360696/n361228/n361378/656700.html.

59China’s Space Activities (White Paper), China Nat’l Space Admin. (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html.

602014 United Nation/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law, Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Org., http://www.apsco.int/NewsOne.asp?ID=357 (last visited Feb. 12, 2016).

61Hedman, supra note 8.

62Id.

63Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

64Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

65Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

66Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

67Id.; Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

68Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

69Hedman, supra note 8.

70Id.

71See id.

72Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

73Id.; Joon Lee, Korean Space Law, UNOOSA (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres13E.pdf.

74Setsuko Aoki, National Space Laws of Japan: Today and Tomorrow, UNOOSA (Nov. 17, 2014), http://www.unoosa.org/documents/pdf/spacelaw/activities/2014/pres10E.pdf.

75Id.

76Dempsey, National Legislations Governing Commercial Space Activities, supra note 47.

77Id.

78Id.

79Id.

80Id.

81See Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–6, 8, 11 (UK); Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

82Id.

83See G.A. Res. 68/74, Recommendations on National Legislation Relevant to the Peaceful Exploration and Use of Outer Space (Dec. 11, 2013) (recognizing the different approaches taken by states in dealing with various aspects of national space activities).

84Brian Wessel, The Rule of Law in Outer Space: The Effects of Treaties and Nonbinding Agreements on International Space Law, 35 Hastings Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 289, 297 (2012); Press Release, Hillary Rodham Clinton, International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities (Jan. 17, 2012), http://www.state.gov/secretary/20092013clinton/rm/2012/01/180969.htm.

85 An International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities: Strengthening Long-Term Sustainability, Stability, Safety, and Security in Space, U.S. Dep’t State Bureau Pub. Aff. (Jan. 17, 2012), http://www.state.gov/r/pa/pl/2012/180998.htm [hereinafter An International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, U.S. Dep’t State].

86Id.; Wessel, supra note 84, at 297.

87Draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities art. 5.1 (Mar. 31, 2014), http://www.eeas.europa.eu/non-proliferation-and-disarmament/pdf/space_code_conduct_draft_vers_31-march-2014_en.pdf.

88 Id.

89Id. art. 4.3.

90See generally id.

91Id. art. 1.1.

92Michael Listner, Code of Conduct: Corrections, Updates, and Thoughts Going Forward, Space Rev. (June 18, 2012), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2101/1 [hereinafter Listner, Code of Conduct].

93Michael Listner, EU Takes the Next Shot in the Battle of the Codes, Space Rev. (June 4, 2012), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2092/1.

94Listner, Code of Conduct, supra note 92; China’s Space Activities (White Paper), China Nat’l Space Admin. (Dec. 15, 2003), http://www.cnsa.gov.cn/n615709/n620681/n771967/69198.html.

95Listner, Code of Conduct, supra note 92; Letter from Valery Loshinin, Permanent Representative of Russia to the Conference on Disarmament, and Wang Qun, Permanent Representative of China, to the Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament (Feb. 29, 2008) (on file with author).

96G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83.

97Id.

98Id.

99Id.; see Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2 (UK); Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014).

100G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; see Ling, supra note 27, at 685.

101G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; see 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (noting that the Secretary may prevent the launch or reentry “if the Secretary decides the launch or reentry would jeopardize the public health and safety, safety of property, or national security or foreign policy interest of the United States”).

102G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83.

103Id.

104 See id.; G.A. Res. 62/101, supra note 43, ¶ 3(b)–(d).

105See Jonathan C. Thomas, Spatialis Liberum, 7 Fla. Coastal L. Rev. 579, 590–91, 598, 628 (2006).

106G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15.

107See Julie C. Easter, Spring Break 2023—Sea of Tranquility: The Effect of Space Tourism on Outer Space Law and World Policy in the New Millennium, 26 Suffolk Transnat’l L. Rev. 349, 366–67 (2003).

108Id. at 371–72.

109Elizabeth Seebode Waldrop, Integration of Military and Civilian Space Assets: Legal and National Security Implications, 55 A.F. L. Rev. 157, 165–66 (2004).

110See Thomas, supra note 105, at 590–91.

111See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II; Waldrop, supra note 108.

112See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II.

113Id. (specifying that only launching states have a role in the determination).

114Easter, supra note 107, at 371–73.

115See G.A. Res. 62/101, supra note 43.

116Id.

117Id. ¶ 3(b); see G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II (“Where there are two or more launching States in respect of any such space object, they shall jointly determine which one of them shall register the object . . . .”).

118See G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VIII.

119Charles Stotler, The ASTEROIDS Act and Hearing: Some Observations on International Obligations, Space Rev. (Sept. 22, 2014), http://www.thespacereview.com/article/2604/1; see also G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. IX.

120Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK).

121Framework Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Argentine Republic on Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, U.S.-Arg., at 13, Oct. 25, 2011, T.I.A.S. No. 13-0730 [hereinafter Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg.].

122Framework Agreement Between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Indian Space Research Organisation for Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, U.S.-India, art. 2(2), Feb. 1, 2008, T.I.A.S. No. 09-201 [hereinafter Framework Agreement, U.S.-India]; Framework Agreement Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the French Republic for Cooperative Activities in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes, U.S.-Fr., art. 9(4), Jan. 23, 2007, T.I.A.S. No. 09-107 (containing a similar definition for “launch vehicle”).

123Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7); Framework Agreement, U.S.-India, supra note 122, art. 2(6).

124Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7); Framework Agreement, U.S.-India, supra note 122, art. 2(6).

125See Framework Agreement, U.S.-Arg., supra note 121, art. 2(7) (including vehicles that depart to and from the same space object in the definition of a transfer vehicle).

126Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK).

127G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), art. I, Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (Nov. 12, 1974).

128See id.; Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK).

129See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. IV; Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 13 (UK).

130International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 88, art. 5.1.

131Space Debris and Human Spacecraft, NASA (Sept. 26, 2013), http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/news/orbital_debris.html#.VFnHmvmUcdU.

132See International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 88, arts. 4.2, 5.1.

133Joseph S. Imburgia, Space Debris and Its Threat to National Security: A Proposal for a Binding International Agreement to Clean up the Junk, 44 Vand. J. Transnat’l L. 589, 613 (2011).

134See id.

135Karl Tate, Space Junk Explained: How Orbital Debris Threatens Future of Spaceflight, Space.com (Oct. 1, 2013, 5:49 PM), http://www.space.com/23039-space-junk-explained-orbital-debris-infographic.html.

136G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. VIII.

137See Hammonds, supra note 5; Stotler, supra note 119.

138Dean N. Reinhardt, The Vertical Limit of State Sovereignty, 72 J. Air L. & Com. 65, 66 (2007).

139See id. at 84–88.

140See id. at 85–88 (noting that nations such as Germany and the United Kingdom currently do not have definitions of the upper limit of airspace).

141See id. at 81–84.

142The Bogota Declaration (1976), reprinted in 6 J. Space L. 193, 193 (1978); see also Susan Cahill, Give Me My Space: Implications for Permitting National Appropriation of the Geostationary Orbit, 19 Wis. Int’l L.J. 231, 240 (2001).

143Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66. For international treaties and conventions that do not include a definition, see Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation, Oct. 13, 1919, 11 L.N.T.S. 173; Convention on International Civil Aviation, Dec. 7, 1944, 61 Stat. 1180; G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10.

144See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66.

145Lara L. Manzione, Multinational Investment in the Space Station: An Outer Space Model for International Cooperation?, 18 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 507, 519 (2002).

146Id.

147Id.

148See James, A. Beckman, Citizens Without a Forum: The Lack of an Appropriate and Consistent Remedy for United States Citizens Injured or Killed as the Result of Activity Above the Territorial Air Space, 22 B.C. Int’l & Comp. L. Rev. 249, 254 (1999).

149Beckman, supra note 148, at 254.

150Id.

151Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 66.

152See, e.g., Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, § 7 (UK); G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10.

153Feinman, supra note 24, at 205–06.

154See id.

155G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. IX; see Stotler, supra note 119.

156See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 87.

157See Stotler, supra note 119.

158See Reinhardt, supra note 138, at 86.

159G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10, art. I.

160Id.

161Space Resource Commercial Exploration and Utilization, 51 U.S.C. § 51301 (2015).

162G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15; G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23, art. I.

163See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15, art. II.

164Id. But see Frans G. von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management in a New Space Era: Military, Commercial, and Tourism Dimensions: Passing the Buck to Rogers: International Liability Issues in Private Spaceflight, 86 Neb. L. Rev. 400, 411 (2007) (discussing the possibility of a private launch operator launching a space object from the high seas without any state qualifying as a launch state) [hereinafter von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management].

165Von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management, supra note 164, at 410–11; see also G.A. Res. 2777 (XXVI), supra note 23, art. II.

166See James L. Reed, The Commercial Space Launch Market and Bilateral Trade Agreements in Space Launch Services, 13 Am. U. Int’l L. Rev. 157, 162 (1997) (discussing the launch agreement between the United States and China).

167See G.A. Res. 3235 (XXIX), supra note 15.

168See Hedman, supra note 8 (comparing the registration practices of six different states).

169See id.

170Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

171See G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83.

172Ling, supra note 27, at 681–89.

173See G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83; Restrictions on Launches, Operations, and Reentries, 51 U.S.C. § 50904 (2014); Outer Space Act 1986, c. 38, §§ 1–2, 8 (UK).

174Von der Dunk, Conference on Security and Risk Management, supra note 164, at 411 (2007).

175G.A. Res. 2222 (XXI), supra note 10.

176G.A. Res. 68/74, supra note 83.

177 See Press Release, Hillary Rodham Clinton, supra note 84; Draft International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities, supra note 87.

178Hammonds, supra note 5.

179See id.; Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

180Pushkin & Gray, supra note 2.

Notes and Comments Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2016); B.A., Latin American Studies & Spanish, Miami University (2013). The author would like to give a special thanks to Professor Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im for all of his advice and support in the writing of this article. The author would also like to thank Matt Bryson for his valuable feedback, and the Emory Space Organization of Law and Research for pushing him toward the field of space law for his Comment topic.