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Look Mom ! It’s A Drone

In space and aviation a drone (unmanned aerial vehicle) is spacecraft or aircraft that has no pilot. Drones are primarily used in the military. Drones are advantageous for military use because pilots are not exposed to combat zones and drones don’t become exhausted. They fly as long as they have fuel and are mechanically sound. Space bound drones, alternatively are used as cargo space crafts and satellites. (www.space.com) The drone market is booming! In 2018 the drone market was valued at approximately 20 billion dollars.  Consumers are using drones for a variety of things-photography, recreation, surveillance and even distributing fertilizer for…

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SPACE TOURISM

Space tourism is defined as humans traveling to space for recreation. Yep, instead of going to Paris for dessert, just fly to space, have brunch, champagne and take copious amounts of selfies. Space tourism is currently estimated to be a 23 billion dollar industry. According to an article published in 2019 by CNBC.com tourists will pay a MERE $52 million for a trip to the International Space Station. With the advent of all of this very expensive traveling several legal issues come to mind. The first is liability. How do both space carriers and passengers protect themselves and protect their…

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A CHANCE TO DO WHAT’S RIGHT

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…

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THE ARTEMIS ACCORDS

On May 17, 2020 NASA unveiled The Artemis Accords. The Artemis Accords are a set of principles and processes where The United States and other countries agree to a common set of principles that refer to how the moon is to be explored. www.spaceref.com/artemis According to NASA, the raison d’etre of this Accord is to “establish a common set of principles to govern the civil exploration and use of outer space”. Bilateral Artemis Accords agreements, based on the 1967 Outer Space Treaty are aimed at “creating a safe and transparent environment which facilitates exploration, science, and commercial activities for the…

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Highlights From a Recent Presentation- Presidential Directive -4

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into effect the creation of the National Space Force, pursuant to the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”) for fiscal year 2020.  Section 9091 (2) of Title XVII  of the NDAA provides“ The Space Force includes both combat and combat-support functions to enable prompt and sustained offensive and defensive space operations and joint operations in all domains”. On February 19, 2019 President Donald Trump issued Space Policy Directive-4 (“Directive”).    The Directive, unlike Title XVII, clearly expresses an aggressive security policy to protect U.S. “interests” in outer space.  “Under this proposal, the United States Space…

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Space Debris- Never Friend Always Foe

According to NASA space debris is non-operational man-made objects in outer space. They include but are not limited to non-functional space crafts, abandoned launch vehicle stages, mission related debris and fragmentation debris. Why is space debris a problem? Space debris is considered problematic because it can cause damage in outer space and on the ground upon Earth re-entry. It can cause damage to space crafts and in some cases even space crew if the impact of the collision is pronounced enough.  Last, but not least, space debris causes space pollution. Currently there are more than 500,000 pieces of debris in…

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Skimming the Surface: National Space Legislation

Last post was focused on international space law. This post will focus on national space law. National space law can be defined as national legislation governing space related activities.[1] National legislation is relevant vis a vis space law because of the increase of private actors in the exploration and travel to space.  It is estimated that private actors will spend close to 1 trillion dollars, this year alone, in conducting space related activities. These private actors need to be regulated. The treaties mentioned in my previous post, cover only state activities in space, not the actions of private parties or…

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A Brief Introduction to Space Law

Space law governs space related activities. Space law is considered international law because like general international law it is comprised of treaties, conventions, general assembly resolutions as well as the rules and regulations of international organizations. There are five (5) United Nations treaties on outer space.  They are; The Outer Space Treaty; The Rescue Agreement; The Liability Convention; The Registration Convention; and The Moon Agreement. The Outer Space Treaty governs activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space.  The Rescue Agreement applies to the rescue of astronauts, return of astronauts and the return of objects launched into…

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He Touched My Life and then He Vanished-The Best Advice I Ever Received…

“Know the issue to the core of its scintilla”, was advice given to me by, what I believe to be a homeless man, who made his way into my law school via the lower level entrance.   My law school campus is an urban campus, and if you wanted to avoid the scrutiny of the main entrance, which is upstairs, you entered through the unmanned lower level. I was sitting alone at a table doing what I do best “contemplating life” and he sat down.  If he told me his name, I don’t remember it.  All I remember is a rather…

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