Outer Space as International Space


For scientists as for lawyers, Antarctica and Outer Space have a lot in common. Both are dangerous and risky places, both are considered as strategically sensitive, both are important for research and science. Despite a fundamental difference regarding claims of sovereignty by some States (which do no exist in Outer Space), both places need an international legal framework supporting common use and common management. It is quite interesting to compare Antarctica and Outer Space to take advantage of 50 years of practice of international legal and managerial cooperation which, despite strong legal difficulties, made possible scientific activities in the Frozen South.The fields of exploration and exploitation, protection of the environment, restriction to military uses which are paramount in the Antarctic Treaty System are relevant not only for Outer Space orbits but also for celestial bodies when new projects are considered for the Moon, Mars and asteroids. The hypothesis of this contribution is that the existing legal framework set by the UN treaties on Outer Space is rather interesting; but that space activities need to be considered in the light of current management of Antarctica by the Antarctic Treaty System as a good example of what may be done, and indeed should be done, to organise an efficient and international management of Outer Space including the Moon, Mars and other celestial bodies.


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Professor Oran Young Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, University of California Santa Barbara and Chair of the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, United States


Professor Armel Kerrest Head, Department of Public Law, University of Western Brittany, France
Dr. Robert Chen Director, Center for International Earth System Information Network at Columbia University; Secretary General, Committee on Data for Science and Technology, United States
RĂ¼diger Wolfrum Director, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and Former President, International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, Germany


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