Questions tagged [space]

Use for legal questions that relate to space, for example, the legality of building rockets or ownership of spacecraft. Often national laws and international treaties apply.

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Legality of liquid rocket engine testing

Suppose a group of aeronautical engineering students are developing a liquid engine for a rocket. What UK laws and regulatory authorities deal with the creation and subsequent testing of a liquid ...
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14 votes
2 answers
5k views

Where does outer space legally start?

Recently the Billionaire Space Race culminated with both Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson, doing what I can tell without any dispute, "going up" and "coming down". The claim that ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Has article VI or VII of the Outer Space Treaty ever been invoked?

Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty states States Parties to the Treaty shall bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, ...
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13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Uncontrolled rocket re-entry kills my dog. What are the legal consequences?

The Chinese CZ-5B rocket launched last week had no support for controlled re-entry (or other managed demise), and is substantial enough that it can survive re-entry and hit the ground. This is unusual:...
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28 votes
7 answers
7k views

What if a spacecraft lands on my property?

In December 2020 Hayabusa2, a Japanese space mission, returned samples from an asteroid to Earth, landing them in the Australian outback. Now, imagine a scenario where the samples accidentally land on ...
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6 votes
1 answer
265 views

Why does the US patent law have a section about inventions in outer space?

I came upon a curiously exorbitant statute, Inventions in outer space (35 USC 105). To summarize my question, what was the story and the rationale behind this law? The section reads, in part: Any ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Are there any laws preventing Space Junk?

Are there any laws limiting the production of Space Junk, like there would be laws preventing a company from putting their waste in the ocean?
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2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Space Law Jurisdiction

Given the recent increase of space-tourism and space-related activities (Go Mars Colony!) I wanted to ask about judicial jurisdiction. In my mind, if Organization X sends a colony ship to well... ...
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3 votes
1 answer
252 views

In Canada, is it legal for citizens to launch a small object into space?

Let's say a citizen is able to launch a rocket or a weather balloon into space with an electronic device (probably a GPS) and a small gnome attached on it, would it be legal? Does this require to ...
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5 votes
3 answers
267 views

Legality of space colonization

Let's assume that I have all the resources to be able to travel to Mars or any other celestial body and colonize it. It is legal to colonize celestials bodies in space? I think I read once that by ...
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4 votes
2 answers
445 views

What happens if a murder occurs in space?

Let's say that there's a joint mission to the International Space Station, composed of American and British astronauts. They get along well for the first few days, but tensions grow, and eventually ...
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4 votes
1 answer
5k views

Am I legally allowed to build my own rocket and fly to space by myself?

Let's say I have all the technology, knowledge, materials, money and time to build my own homemade space rocket. Am I allowed to fly to space with it?
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3 votes
0 answers
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Is Mark Watney really a space pirate? [duplicate]

In the movie/book The Martian there's a NASA astronaut on the Mars named Mark Watney. He's arguing that the surface of the planet is juridically considered sea. Because he takes control of another (...
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19 votes
2 answers
3k views

Under which law the person who commits a crime on the moon gets prosecuted?

I can understand that if an astronaut attack an other astronaut inside a spaceship he/she will have to answer to the law of the country which owns the ship but what if the attack happened on the moon?
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