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85

It's required to by the legislation that created it, the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958. FUNCTIONS OF THE ADMINISTRATION Sec. 203. (a) The Administration, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, shall-- (1) plan, direct, and conduct aeronautical and space activities; (2) arrange for participation by the scientific ...


39

I drive by it every day... We do it for the benefit of all: Really though, the government has a vested interest in making sure we (the United States) remain a technology leader in the world because it's good for the economy. Private industry is usually too risk-averse to undertake basic research with no current applications even though the payoff can ...


34

There aren't very many places a mutineer could go... First off, for a combination of practical and logistical reasons, the ISS has never held its original planned crew of 7, and instead has been crewed by 3 people for virtually all of its service life, the exceptions being Shuttle and Soyuz visits, either for crew changes or to install or maintain parts of ...


21

Many jurisdictions recognize weddings performed out-of-jurisdiction provided that those weddings are legal in the jurisdiction they're performed in. Unfortunately, there's no legal authority with jurisdiction over LEO -- it's kind of a legal gray area. Does any national law system provide a means for marriage officiants to lawfully perform a marriage at ...


21

Because they're scientists, and publishing your results is what scientists do. There's a reason why the final step of basically every research methodology used in academia is "publish your results" (and I'm only saying "basically every" because I'm not an expert on the field of research methodologies, so while it's possible that there's one obscure one out ...


20

The International Space Station Intergovernmental Agreement covers the ISS. Under the IGA, as it is often known, the laws of the nation (or region, in the case of the European Union) apply to its citizens and property : This extension of national jurisdiction determines what laws are applicable for activities occurring on a Partner’s Space Station ...


19

Short answer: No. (if you live in the USA) Long answer: Law is complex, but for a review of how things stood in 2005 check out: http://www.colonyfund.com/Reading/papers/NH_FAA_2005.pdf It's quite a good article on most of the relevant FAA regulations. For more detailed reading see the Office of Commercial Space Transportation: https://www.faa.gov/about/...


15

First of all, let me give you what the typical requirements are for a launch, so we can compare them to your hypothetical situation. Managing a launch requires keeping an eye on where your rocket will be at any time, and what would happen to it if it exploded. Most launch facilities impose "Range Safety" requirements which must be demonstrated prior to ...


15

One interesting answer to your question is Copenhagen Suborbitals. They're almost a back-yard project. Our mission is very simple. We are working towards launching a human being into space. This is a non-profit suborbital space endeavour founded and led by Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, based entirely on sponsors, private donators and ...


15

The United States launch sites are the most accessible, both in terms of location (near population centers and accessible) and political environment. Kennedy Space Center in particular is welcoming of visitors, and to a lesser extent Wallops, and you can get into Vandenburg occasionally if you ask nicely. As far as other countries, the major centers are ...


14

Although this may be surprising, there is a whole discipline called "Space Law". As there is space law, there are space lawyers. You should look into the work and activities of e.g. http://www.virgiliupop.com/ There are countless private claims on territory in space. The maybe strangest one is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nation_of_Celestial_Space ...


14

Could you? Well, maybe. Let's take a look at one instance where people were encouraged to do that very feat, for $10 million. I'm of course talking about the Ansari X-Prize of 10 years ago. This did a few things that were difficult for the time, giving a cash incentive, and helping with some of the permits and other required items to make it happen. Most of ...


14

In the case of Falcon 9 / Orbcomm OG2 launch from SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, FL that's now scheduled for Dec. 20th at 8:29 p.m. EST (01:29 a.m. UTC), according to Spaceflight Now: Sources said only an instantaneous launch opportunity is available Sunday due to restrictions imposed by the Federal Aviation Administration, which may be ...


13

A few of reasons for not mounting such a terraforming mission now are: Cost-effectiveness. It's expensive to go to Mars, and simply throwing some seeds and fertilizer at the place is too unlikely to yield a desirable result to be worth doing. All terrestrial life is adapted to terrestrial environments and ecosystems, especially complex life like plants. ...


12

According to Andrew Tingkang of Seattle University School of Law (in a paper from 2011), the Outer Space Treaty has never been amended. The amendment addressed in "Common Ground in the Sky: Extending the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to Reconcile U.S. and Chinese Security Interests" by Alex B. Engelhart was a proposed amendment that was never ratified. Sources: ...


12

Whether the reported article is accurate? It's rather bad in my opinion. The news is outdated and incorrect. This part was completely incorrect: 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 tested their designs) announced in April 2012 that they ...


12

The Outer Space Treaty (signed by the US in 1967) specifies that (Article IX): States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction ...


12

With the exception of model rockets made of paper, wood, or breakable plastic, that are passively stabilized, that have low thrust and low delta V, and that do not have guidance software, launch vehicles fall under ITAR regulations. The regulations are now much more relaxed once the launch vehicle has achieved its goal and placed its payload into orbit. ...


11

Disclaimer: IANASL - I Am Not A Space Lawyer :) This would greatly depend on individual nations carrying out space missions and their national space laws, which would be by an order of magnitude too broad to be reasonably covered within this Q&A, but I presume you're limiting your question to international-law, as the tag you chose implies, and what ...


11

First of all, let's get a few things straight. The FCC has a partial agreement for space launches, specifically, they are allowed to regulate the use of frequencies, etc. The FAA is allowed to regulate the spacecraft, launch site, and the timing of the launch, and similar such things. But their power pretty much stops at the atmosphere. In essence, as ...


11

According to the Article VIII of the Outer Space Treaty: A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body. Ownership of objects launched into outer space, including objects ...


11

Using nuclear power, for any reason whatsoever, is looked upon with great suspicion by the existing nations with nuclear capabilities. There are a lot of countries, including the US, that are skeptical of Iran's nuclear program, that they are currently just building reactors, not bombs. Project Orion included nuclear pulse units that are in practice small ...


11

I'm not sure if it'd be exciting enough for you, but I visited Tanegashima with a friend in January 2013. It's a bit of a way off the west end of Japan, but not quite as far as Okinawa. They mostly do satellite launches and tracking. (this qualifies it as an orbital launch site for you, yes?) Once you've made the ferry, hydrofoil or plane trip to get there ...


10

The general rule of thumb on this type of issue is that if it is in orbit, then you don't have to worry about traveling through other countries, and if it is not yet in orbit, you should ask permission from whatever country you are flying through. For this reason, and safety reasons in general, most spacecraft launch from the coast. Thus, a sub-orbital ...


10

No. As ForgeMonkey notes, it's banned in the US. The same restrictions apply pretty much anywhere. The problem is that the necessary technology is essentially dual-use, with clear military applications. Now not all countries are signatories to the various arms control treaties, so e.g. North Korean citizens aren't bound by these treaties. But in such ...


9

While obviously the question does not have a single distinct answer There are some existing examples that can lead us to some conclusions Per the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 - No one owns the moon; "Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or ...


9

With some help from Wikipedia, here's a few: Iran (Not ratified, but signed) Anousheh Ansari Latvia Oleg Atremyev Uzbekistan Vladimir Dzhanibekov Bottom line, two small former soviet nations, and Iran, who just didn't ratify it. But most of the astronauts are from countries which have ratified the treaty. While these astronauts were citizens of non-...


9

To my understanding, this is not much different than legal ramifications of appropriating once one's property that is now adrift defunct and abandoned in international waters. So, since my answer can not in any way be considered legally binding to any jurisdiction, I feel confident enough to give you my fair opinion on the matter. Do note though, I am not a ...


9

IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), and this is an unqualified opinion alone, not a legal advice, but I'd say no, since there's no proven intent to harm oneself, so it couldn't be interpreted under section 309. I asked a related question here if any government has issued an official recommendation regarding Mars One application, but sadly it didn't yet result in any ...


9

If life is found on Mars, NASA does not have anything that would suspend travel to Mars. However, NASA does have a NPD: Biological Contamination Control for Outbound and Inbound Planetary Spacecraft , and would also have to comply with the NEPA process. (They have to do these either way, but knowing there was life would ensure increased scrutiny) ...


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