By Alexandra Dolce • June 27, 2020
There’s a lot happening in the world right now especially the U.S.; namely, the COVID 19 Pandemic and the fight for racial and economic equality for primarily people of African descent. Equality based on race has always been a problem for American society largely because of slavery. However, the egregious and heinous acts associated with the murder of George Floyd seem to have the racial tide changing in a different direction. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.
My platform for ms-jd.org is all things Outer Space, but in this post, albeit short, I want to reaffirm that we as a society should not make the same mistakes in Outer Space that were made on earth. What am I talking about? As the space domain becomes more and more accessible to human beings, it is easier for humans to violate human rights because Outer Space is very far away (no oversight) and there is no legislation specifically protecting individual rights in Outer Space. For example, what if humans are transported into outer space for forced labor? Or what if an accident occurs and protected gear is given to some and not others because of race, gender or sexual orientation? Based on my previous posts, we know that the Outer Space Treaty implicitly makes this illegal, but there is no express mandate governing human to human behavior for non-astronauts and non-space station employees working in Outer Space. At present, if a person is traveling to work as non-astronaut or non-space crew employee, there are no laws, labor or otherwise protecting that person.
As the commercial space sector grows, there should be mandates and laws that clearly express what is acceptable human to human behavior in the domain of Outer Space. Human rights, dignity and safety should be paramount as the foundation of this legislation. This legislation can and should be modified and expanded as the industry grows and changes.
One thing I know for sure, where the mighty dollar is concerned, individuals will go to great lengths to make more without due regard for what is right, legal and just. This premise seems to be changing on earth, let’s bring this momentum into Outer Space. Outer space is a clean slate, a means for society to start over. This arena is giving us a chance to correct some of the mistakes that we have made on earth. Let’s do what’s right this time!