Space Exploration, Outer Space Treaty, Resources, Space Mining, Space Law


Since the 1960’s the international community has made huge advancements in technology and space exploration. However, since that time, the legal and regulatory system governing such advances and exploration has not matched the course. The body of law governing outer space exploration and resources has failed to keep up with advances in the industry. Individual countries, originally thought to not have spacefaring capabilities, are now major contributors to the future of space exploration, each with its own regulatory system. Furthermore, over time there has been an increase in the presence and influence of private companies over the research and development of space resources and general access to space in general. The Outer Space Treaty and other regulatory documents fail to adequately consider many advances that have been made by humankind in recent years. The conversation now includes asteroid mining, fuel development, dedicated branches of the military, and even colonization. With more participants in space exploration and feasible activities than the original treaty over fifty years ago, it is time for the U.N. to modernize the treaty and sufficiently address the inevitable issues of property rights, space debris, the militarization of celestial bodies, and colonization.