Questions tagged [law]

Relating to treaties, laws, ownership and disputes during the exploration of space.

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Legality of Outer Space Colonization

Is it legal for a private entity to found a space colony? Ex. Build a rotating habitat in orbit around the Earth and let people live there indefinitely
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Roscosmos: Government agency, state-owned corporation, or something else?

Exactly what kind of organization is Roscosmos? An agency of the government, like NASA? We seem to treat it as such in this site. A state-owned corporation, like the old Soviet design bureaus? The ...
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Does the FAA have anything to do with landing on the Moon specifically?

The Motley Fool's Space Investors, Rejoice! There May Be Something Worth Mining on the Moon begins with: It's been four years now since Bigelow Aerospace filed its application with the Federal ...
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How does European jurisdiction in the ISS works?

This answer notes that participant nations have jurisdiction over their modules. So in a US module, you are in US jurisdiction, etc. Which means that in an European module, you are in European ...
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Does America's Birthright Citizenship law apply to the American side of the International Space Station?

In a scenario in which a pregnant Russian woman were to give birth while visiting the International Space Station, and if she were to give birth while on the American side of the ISS, would that baby ...
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Who is accountable for damage caused by the debris field of a successful ASAT test

I just saw India just shot down a satellite from the ground. At what altitude range is the resulting debris field? about today's Indian ASAT test... As far as I know an "ASAT Missile" sounds military ...
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Do owners of reentering spacecraft notify the countries' whose airspace they are likely to violate and seek permission?

@PearsonArtPhoto's answer contemplates: Any object that is below 100 km now is considered an aircraft, and technically needs the permission of the country over which it is flying to enter that air ...
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Are SpaceX subject to “Common Carrier” provisions from the FAA, NASA or others? [duplicate]

For instance, could SpaceX refuse to carry OneWeb satellites because it is a competitor to StarLink. Obviously SpaceX shouild be able refuse payloads as incompatible with their vehicle. The obvious ...
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Regulations preventing SpaceX from saying “no” if OneWeb asked them to launch their satellites?

The Forbes article With A Successful Launch, OneWeb Just Joined SpaceX And Others In The Satellite Internet Race says: This marks a turning point in a new generation of communications satellites, ...
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What licenses do you need to launch a rocket and put something into orbit? [duplicate]

Do you need a licence to build, and fly a rocket (mainly flying)? Can you build any type of rocket and fly it anywhere at any time? Are there regulations on what you can take to space?
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During a government shutdown, is it possible for US rocket companies to launch from outside the US?

With the ongoing shutdown, it's causing some test flights of SpaceX and others to be pushed back. If it goes on for an extended period, is it possible for said rocket company to launch from another ...
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Could I claim a asteroid if I landed on it?

Could I claim a Asteroid if I landed on it? If so, could I have a nuclear reactor on it for a power generator?
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ITAR regulation on reaction wheels

I'm performing a design exercise for the design of attitude control system using reaction wheels as control actuators. During the analysis, I noticed few interesting options from suppliers in the US. ...
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What are the legal restrictions, if any, on someone skydiving from a homemade rocket? [closed]

Consider the hypothetical situation in which someone builds a rocket, launches in it, ejects at max altitude and skydives to the ground. The maximum rocket height would be between 5,000 and 14,000 ...
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In what ways could a US-based commercial space company legally use nuclear power?

At the moment, commercial usage of space seems to be the next big 'thing' in space exploration. Much of this (tourism, commercial launch companies, etc) will likely use solar power or fuel cell ...
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Can astronauts of a certain rank perform marriages on board of a spacecraft? [duplicate]

Sea captains can perform marriages under the law of certain countries and in specified conditions. But what about space captains (or a similar rank)? Has an issue of marriage in space, in orbit or on ...
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How does dispute resolution work with the ITU.

I keep reading about disputes on allocation of satellites or spectrum - is there a way to read about them on the ITU sites - similar to reading the WTO dispute reports.
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Is terraforming inevitable? [closed]

Is only economics and the huge scale (material, spatial, and temporal) of the project the only limiting factor that could stop some groups from succeeding? Will other groups of people having a ...
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Is the Earth's orbit regulated? [duplicate]

Does somebody or some organization regulate the Earth's orbit? For example, could I send my project there by my own? Or do I have to ask someone for permission?
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What are the regulatory steps to be taken by a private aerospace company in India to launch a satellite?

The idea is to launch a satellite with ISRO or any other foreign launch service provider like SpaceX. The satellite in question is a simple CubeSat for basic remote sensing.
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What are the legal implications for a child being born in space?

So, in this case, I asked back in the chat about the side-effects of childbirth AND what legal implications that would have for a person born outside of a celestial body; a "spacer", if you will. So,...
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Might ISRO's 2018-004 launch be at least a technical violation of the Outer Space Treaty by India?

The IEEE News article FCC Accuses Stealthy Startup of Launching Rogue Satellites as well as the question What checks are supposed to be carried out to prevent illegal satellite launches? address the ...
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Is there any regulation against sending stuff to space that you don't need there, like the Tesla roadster?

Is there any regulation (or self-regulation) that would force space explorers to create as little debris as possible? The Tesla roadster in space seems to be only a PR-gag.
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Is it possible to get married in space?

Is it possible to have a legal wedding in space? For example, any of the following could answer the question: Does any national law system explicitly define a specific process for validly performing ...
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Are there rules and ethics to follow in space?

If someone were to go to the moon and set up their own camp. Would NASA and governments be okay with it? Or would they not care? Is there a rule that says I can't do anything to the moon or else ...
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What are the main issues addressed by New Zealand's recent rocket legislation?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: New Zealand has created new rocket legislation and set up a space agency in anticipation of becoming ...
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What computer programs does ITAR say I can or can not write, or share, or use in the US?

After reading this answer by someone knowledgeable in the field, I realized that I still don't understand even a little bit what International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) (and its cousins) does ...
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What is stopping us from starting to terraform Mars right now?

Mars has stational liquid water on its surface, a CO2-rich atmosphere and its soil might lack some nutrients that plants need to grow there. So, what is stopping us from filling a rocket with seeds ...
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Does SpaceX have any significant additional legal hurdles for flying private citizens around the moon?

SpaceX recently announced they are planning to fly two private citizens around the moon. I'm sure a normal space flight has all sorts of legal complications, but does the addition of 2 private ...
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Is it illegal for a private citizen of the US to own and operate an orbital kinetic weapons platform?

Let's say someone pays for the shipping through an as yet unnamed commercial launch company. And they place something in orbit that is effectively a kinetic weapons platform. Or at least has the ...
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What body of regulations (if any) would apply to a cubesat with an SDR on board?

I don't have any idea how to begin to navigate through the possible regulations regarding sensors and cameras on satellites, much less radio receivers. I have a feeling you need to get in touch with ...
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I'm going to invade Europa, any international interferences that could stop me?

So I have some payload which is going to be sent to Jupiter's moon Europa. While my contract partner who is shipping my payload didn't specify strictly enough what the expected achievements of our ...
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What orbital launch-site can I lawfully visit?

All the orbital launch-sites I know of are to some degree also military bases, like Cape Canaveral and Plesetsk, and they have in any case restricted access. However, which of them can I visit, ...
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What decides if a launch has to be done instantaneously or during a window?

What determines if a launch has to be done instantaneously or has a launch window of minutes or hours? To what parts is it about celestial and ground issues? Just one example of alleged switching ...
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Does the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty apply to nuclear pulse propulsion and its use in outer space?

Assuming a nuclear pulse propulsion spaceship would be launched to space with conventional chemical rockets and on escape trajectory from Earth, and it would only then start the nuclear pulse engine, ...
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If you launch a booster from international waters, who do you have to notify beforehand?

If I have a booster capable of reaching LEO, and want to launch it from a sailing platform in the middle of the South Atlantic (on the equator) do I have to notify some agency or state beforehand? Can ...
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Do government space agencies capitalise on selling intellectual property/patents etc

This questions is purely about government agencies, not private companies. Typically the massive reams of data that must be produced to design and qualify a satellite or rocket aren't openly shared ...
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If I were to make an orbit-capable space gun, what legal issues could I expect to encounter?

Sorry if this is a little broad and hypothetical or too legal. Say I (as a company) (hypothetically) was to build a space gun, reasonably similar to the 7-incher here in Canada, but with a second ...
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Can you reenter a satellite into the Earth's atmosphere without permission if it lands in the open ocean?

I was doing a mission analysis on returning a nuclear payload (a spent reactor, nuclear battery, or something slightly radioactive) from orbit and was seeing the potential ways of bringing it back. ...
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How would finding life on Mars affect the timeline to send people?

There are a lot of questions here about looking for life on Mars, potentially finding life on Mars, how to deal with life on Mars as far as contamination one way or the other, even whether or not ...
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What are the regulations about ISS access for research?

Are there any laws regulating access to the International Space Station for an Indian company, for research such as microgravity tests?
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What if any US laws apply on the ISS?

This question comes from an answer at Why is there a pregnancy test kit on the ISS? that says "US medical privacy laws" apply on the ISS. These US laws are for the most part addressed at http://www....
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Am I allowed to send a rocket to LEO?

I am not affiliated with any space agency. I do not have the resources to do so, but am I allowed to send a rocket to LEO without talking to any federal agency? Obviously that could be a danger to ...
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What are the mission control backup options on a satellite/space-craft?

So I'm going through Brian Harvey's "Rebirth of the Russian Space Program". At one point the book mentions the Russian Satellite control centre at Serphukov-15 was totalled by fire. The consequence ...
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What is the legal status of in orbit space debris?

In particular, are there any established property rights? Questions have been asked about the legal status of asteroid mining here. The answer comes from the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. However, that ...
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Will Roscosmos et.al attempt to revive nuclear-engine space technology violate the OST?

This article dated. 2013 writes to say After a multi-decade hiatus, both NASA and the Russian Federal Space Agency (which developed many of its own NTRs during the Cold War but never physically ...
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Civilian requirements/restrictions for sending satellite into LEO

What requirements and restrictions are there for a civilian organisation sending a satellite into LEO? (Apart from cost. I'm talking about any laws, agreements between nations etc) This is in ...
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What is being done to cleanup space of junk, particulary laws and litigation?

I know there will always be a risk of a strike in space but what is being done to combat the man made risk of debris from finished satellites? I read about a Swiss Organisation that is launching a ...
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What lunar legalities are currently in place?

I'm curious what treaties, if any, are in place as far as restricting military, engineering, or scientific applications on the lunar surface. e.g. Assuming someone definitively discovers there's ...
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What is the minimum team-size for mission control? [closed]

There happen to be several questions out here on DIY spacecraft/launch-systems ... so I figure this question should be the next that comes to mind Unless one happens to be on the craft, and well-...