The Future of Commercial Space Law and Regulation: Setting the Stage – Where We Are in Commercial Space, How We Got Here, and What Lies Ahead

June 7, 2011 at 6:59 am | Posted in Blogcast, Space Law | Leave a comment

by P.J. Blount with th blog faculty

The National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law is hosting a symposium titled The Future of Commercial Space Law and Regulation at Jones Day in Washington, D.C. res Communis will be live blogging the event.

James A. Vedda, Senior Policy Analyst at the Center for space Policy and Strategy at The Aerospace Corporation, started the morning with a discussion of space commerce, by comparing the space industry to other industries. He noted that compared with other major industries, the space industry is small. However he noted that space technologies enable many other industries. He then discussed the United States National Space policy which includes a mandate to “encourage and facilitate” commercial space. He stated that there were mixed results from this policy. He said that the majority of space applications used space as a vantage point, and then made suggestions to broaden these uses. He stated that the challenges to law and policy were to overcome short term thinking, and adopting long term strategies.

Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director of the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air, and Space Law, then gave a brief overview of space law. She stated that the core of space law was the treaty regime, which contemplates commercial space actors. She said that this regime has been augmented by decades of commercial practice. Next, she noted the heart of U.S. national space law was the NAS Act of 1958. She then gave an overview of it’s development and how that development has addressed commercial space. She stated that the law developed to govern many facets of space activities. She noted that currently there is a great deal of regulatory activity to further refine the laws. Finally, she discussed the codification of Title 51, which puts all of U.S. space law in one place.

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