U.S. – China Student Space Law Symposium: Prospects of Chinese Space Tourism and Proposals for Its Legislation

March 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Posted in Blogcast, Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with the blog faculty

The next paper was Prospects of Chinese Space Tourism and Proposals for Its Legislation given by Ms. Xu Si of the Beijing Institute of Technology.

She began with a brief history of space tourism aboard the International Space Station. She noted that space tourism companies, such as Space Adventures and Virgin Galactic, are a new development. She then noted that China had recently become the third nation to be capable of human space flight, and that it was working towards the development of a space laboratory in the near future. She noted that the Chinese government supports the commercialization of Space Activities.

She then discussed the legal issues that accompany space tourism. She stated that China has no relevant legal regulation for space tourism activities. She noted that the delimitation of the boundary of space is a threshold issue for defining space tourism and gave overviews of the different theories that address delimitation issues.

Next, she said that Insurance issues will be prominent because space tourism is a high risk activity. She also noted that contracts between space flight providers and space tourists will be very important as well and suggested that the government should regulate these contracts. She also said that clear regulations to govern space tourism are needed.

She then made proposals for space tourism regulation in China. First, she said that a licensing and regulating system is needs to be established, which would include safety reviews, missions reviews, an insurance regime, and monitoring regime. Next, she proposed that the law regulate contracts between operators and space tourists. Finally, she endorsed making the intent and basic principles of the regulations clear, including principles such as fairness and equality, safety, making good use of the existing system, sustainable development and utilization, and encouraging cooperation.

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