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Jill Phillips
September 25, 2020
Astrobiology and Space Exploration No Comments

Space exploration and planetary protection: An international law perspective

1.1 Introduction

Space exploration has become increasingly common in recent times, especially with the facilitation of machine-learning robots. In their research article, scholars Gao and Chien indicated that humans are ever curious about exploring the suspected forms of life in other planetary objects in Earth’s outer space.[1] As such, robotics and autonomous systems have come to the aid of humans in fulfilling their curiosities. Wang and Liu also noted that many developed and developing countries (for example, China) are becoming mindful of robotics’ opportunities in enhancing space exploration.[2] For example, China recently completed a successful lunar exploration mission called Chang’e-3. It is currently focusing on a new mission, called Chang’e-4, which is intended to explore the space further. In the past, China has been using a combination of lander and rover in lunar explorations, such as in Chang’e-3. Currently, there are ongoing plans to build a robotic lunar exploration station with three to four missions. Scholar Thomas Roehr and colleagues also noted that researchers are currently actively engaged in the design and development of heterogeneous and autonomous robotic systems that can be used for space exploration in various environments.[3] These observations imply that with the arrival and advancement of technologies like machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), more intensive and extensive space explorations are deemed. For example, according to Mohan and Tejaswi, ML and AI present huge potential in enhancing space exploration strategies and the empirical investigation of celestial objects and the environment of the outer space.[4] Since ML and AI presents possibilities for further space exploration, then it can be argued that the technologies are likely to intensify these activities in the future as more advancement is attained.

            Of greatest concern are the legal regulations of this anticipated increment in space explorations. Since man’s first flight to the outer space in 1958, Brian Beck argued that legal treaties were formed to create a friendly legal environment to facilitate governments to explore the space even beyond the moon.[5] Especially in the 1960s and 70s, many treaties were formed to facilitate space exploration. However, since then, the world has undergone many changes. For example, as stated earlier, China, a developing country, has currently managed to launch lunar exploration missions successfully, such as in Chang’ e-3. Beck noted that at the beginning, only the world’s richest governments, and mainly the United States, were able to afford the expensive activities of exploring extra celestial bodies.[6] Due to the advent of modern space flight missions, there is a need to review the efficiency of the treaties laid out during the 1960s and 70s to determine their capacity to accommodate new developments. On the same line of thought, Sarah Coffey noted a need to develop a stable legal framework that will permit the responsible exploration of the outer space.[7] According to Popova and Schaus, there are growing concerns about the growing accumulation of orbital space debris due to the intensified space exploration activities in the recent times.[8] The scholars also noted that orbital space debris is also likely to hinder future space exploration activities. Rajapaksa and Wijerathna also noted a need to adopt a robust legal framework to counter the accumulation of orbital space debris, which is likely to hinder future activities.[9] Therefore, based on these researchers’ and scholars’ observations, it can be deduced the legal discourse in academia on space exploration has shifted significantly from the need to facilitate further exploration of the need to ensure responsible space exploration. The commercialisation of these activities is one reason orbital space debris that has increased significantly in the recent past. Olivieri and Francesconi noted that the currently used mitigation strategies for orbital space debris are not sufficient in countering the projected increment of space activities by commercial companies.[10] As stated earlier, this claim holds especially with the arrival and advancement of AI and ML, which will facilitate less-challenging means of exploring the outer space even beyond the current limits. Therefore, the development of a legal environment to govern the exploration of the outer space is a pressing issue in contemporariness, as further elaborated below.

  Space exploration is a highly profitable venture, which is likely to steer competition in the private sector, resulting in the further intensification of the activities. According to Matthew Weinzierl, the United States’ space exploration ventures earn approximately $300 billion annually.[11] The scholar also noted that in the 1960s, NASA’s space exploration revenue contributed to 0.7% of the United States’ GDP. However, since many of the activities have been shifted to the private sector, NASA only contributes 0.1% to the GDP. The main implication is that more private companies are venturing into this commercial activity, thus threatening other extra celestial environments, especially around the orbits. Iliopoulos and Esteban argued that the privatisation of space exploration ventures poses a lot of challenges related to sustainability; hence, they are contingent on the existence of certain international space laws that govern and regulate such activities as asteroid mining.[12] The scholars’ argument holds because privatisation will stimulate extreme competition between companies, resulting in the further intensification of such activities.  Giancarlo Graziola argued that there is a need to focus on sustainably advancing the space economy by developing such techniques as establishing input-output measurements for proper regulation.[13] According to S.W. Chiu, without the proper regulation of the space economy, the world risks destabilising its international information and communications technology (ICT) systems and hinder sustainable development activities that rely on outer space activities, such as satellite imaging for agricultural purpose.[14] Thus, up to this point, it is apparent that the need for the adoption of more robust legal frameworks for space exploration is irrefutable and of pressing nature.           

            According to Adam Greenstone, space exploration companies require the need for complying with ethics and public integrity principles, which can be addressed in three ways, namely the advising of the individuals who are directly involved in the management of space flights, such as managers and crew, partnership agreement to foster the application of ethics rules and dialogue among spacefaring nations and other concerned entities.[15] In this case, the political and legal aspects required for the proper handling of space exploration activities are addressed sufficiently. Jai Galliot and colleagues noted that “States bear international responsibility for national activities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether they are carried on by governmental agencies or non-governmental entities” (p.95).[16] In this case, the authors referred to the Outer Space Treaty (OST) (1967), Article IV. The next subsection of this literature review investigates how OST and other treaty laws of space exploration accommodate space exploration activities’ current developments while pointing out other areas of improvement.

1.2 International Space Law

            According to Philip De Man, international space law (ISL) is often seen as lacunal because it fails to capture detailed regulations for the specific space exploration activities.[17] However, the various UN treaties are natured in a way that is intended to control every activity of public and private entities concerning space exploration.[18] In the same line of thought, Joel Dennerley noted that ISL is based on the principles of international cooperation concerning spatial activities, which have so far been fostered effectively.[19] De Man raised concerns that powerful countries feel “disadvantaged” or “undermined” with this level of efficiency regarding international cooperation.[20] They are silently advocating for the shift from the international-level law-making to the national level, hence trying to undermine international efforts for personal benefits. Marina Lits and colleagues noted that ISL is more effective than national-level space law because the outer space regulation best fits the international platform.[21] After all, today’s world is hugely dependent on goings-on that relies on the outer space activities, such as cloud computing, satellite communication in GPS, phone calls, and emails and carrying out bank transactions. Therefore, shifting from ISL to national outer space laws is likely to affect such activities, which cannot only affect the impoverished countries but also even the most economically powerful nations. Kobzar and Danylenko noted that the main argument behind the shift is the ISL does not account for recent technological dynamics and developments in space exploration activities.[22] Hence, most countries are preferring to come up with national space laws to govern their space activities. Halunko and Didenko raised concerns that if the ISL is not urgently updated to accommodate these dynamic developments, space colonisation is likely to occur since national space laws are mostly inclined towards the interests of individual countries.[23] These scholars’ overall discourse can be summarised as an advocacy voice for the need to develop and advance the ISL to ensure the responsible use of the outer space without disadvantaging those nations.

            The claim that some countries are gaining more control of the outer space, which could be a new form of colonisation was strengthened by the observations of Babak Shakouri Hassanabadi that the United States currently has ongoing plans to introduce a military branch called space force.[24] This space force has sparked controversy in the context of the ISL norms and principles. Inherently, the ISL bans countries from using destructive weapons, such as nuclear powers in the outer space, especially around the Earth’s orbit. Hobe and De Man noted that the ISL bans countries from the appropriation of the outer space – no country holds sovereignty over a certain portion of celestial bodies, such as the Moon.[25] However, it is worth remarking that without robust international legal frameworks for the governance of the outer space, economically powerful countries, such as the United States are more likely to introduce outer space colonisation. Especially with the current shift of the legal environment from the international level to the national level, and the weaponisation of the outer space, as evidenced by the United States’ plan to form a military branch called space force.  For example, according to David Lindgren, some key components of the ISL, such as the Moon Agreement is poorly adopted and less recognised on an international level, thus posing challenges related to the issues mentioned above, such as the colonisation and subsequent introduction of appropriation of outer space.[26] Ram Jakhu noted that despite six years of development, ISL is still poorly formulated, despite the high international cooperation that has been noted by other scholars.[27] Thus, there is a need to formulate strategies that can improve the effectiveness of international cooperation concerning the governance of celestial bodies that can foster the quick advancement of the ISL. Such advancement should take place at the pace at which technological advancement is taking place to discourage countries from shifting from the international-level to national-level law-making.           

            According to Morozova and Vasyanin, the ISL is a division of international law that governs and regulates human activities in the outer space.[28] It has five components in the form of treaties and agreements, which are both binding and non-binding, namely the Moon Agreement (MA), the OST, the Rescue Agreement, the Liability Convention, and the Registration Agreement.[29] Lindgren noted that the five core instruments are adopted disproportionately, with the MA being the least adopted and globally recognised.[30] Therefore, it is imperative to examine each instrument to determine the discrepancies between their tenets and the current developments, such as technological advancement in space exploration. Then, propose some of the ways the international community can facilitate the process of robustly advancing them to discourage countries from shifting from the international legal platform to the national level, which poses a great threat to humanity. The argument will be focused on the destruction that will take place in the celestial environments if these agreements are not adopted appropriately. As seen earlier, some of the reasons for their poor adoption is because they fail to capture the specific details on current strategies of space exploration. The first instrument to be discussed will be the OST.

            1.2.1 OST (1967)

            The OST is one of the most examined instruments of the ISL. According to Joan Johnson-Freese, the OST was signed into law on 10 October 1967 to ensure that the outer space is not controlled by the world superpowers then, the Soviet Union and the United States.[31] The treaty indicated that the outer space shall be the “province for all mankind” and that no country, despite economic power and scientific advancement, shall benefit from the outer space in the advantage of the less fortunate nations.[32] It is the “mother” of other treaties that were passed into law later in the late 1960s, 1970s, and earlier in the 1980s. Up to this point, it is imperative to note that geopolitical setting under which the treaties and agreements were born (when the Soviet Union and the United States were the world’s superpowers) has been outmoded. Thus, it can be argued that an effective ISL instrument is the one that captures the contemporary geopolitical contexts. Hence, it is also imperative to examine the geopolitical status of the OST before discussing it in the context of the weaponisation of the outer space and the issue of the deposition of orbital space debris.

            According to Jacob Reed, the OST system is the one that is most threatened in the current space exploration developments, such as the privatisation and commercialisation of outer space exploration activities.[33] The scholar anticipated its collapse soon if it is not updated appropriately to accommodate the new geopolitical developments. Joan Johnson-Freese also noted that the OST is challenged and being pushed into its limits by ever-changing geopolitics and rapid technological advancement.[34] Freeland and Nakarada Pecujlic noted that the OST system has largely remained unchanged structurally since its inception in October 1958.[35] It was formed before the period of the Cold War. Still, even during the Cold War, it remained unchanged as the Soviet Union and the United States were using proxy wars in their competition for new opportunities presented by novel technologies, such as nuclear power and natural sources. Even after the Cold War, many other geopolitical developments have taken place, which is currently not captured in the treaty. Instead, Freeland and Nakarada Pecujlic noted that its response to subsequent technological and other developments has largely been based on ad hoc developments with non-binding legal updates of its guidelines and instruments.[36] In his views, P.J. Blount argued that although geopolitical developments are threatening its existence in the future, its sustenance over the last six decades has been exemplary because its legal updates based on the principles of soft/non-binding law and domestic legislation have provided a platform for multilateral interaction on space activities.[37] Thus, the observations of Blount have shown the good side of domestic legislation, which was criticised by other previously cited studies that it will promote the colonisation of the outer space since most nations are serving their interests. Overall, all the studies have demonstrated that the treaty’s lack of integration of the rapidly changing geopolitics threatens its existence in the future. The concerns that were raised by Freeland and Nakarada Pecujlic that the treaty’s guideline and instrument updates have been on the ad hoc basis reveal that there is a need to ensure that formal and professional approaches, especially via rigorous research, are employed to ensure the treaty’s guidelines and instruments are well aligned to geopolitical developments to guarantee its long-term sustenance.

            Also, the current research project focuses on the Articles III, VI, and IX of the OST because they are the most pertinent to the topic under examination and particularly planetary protection. These articles have been examined extensively in the literature, paving the way for new facts about their effectiveness in planetary protection as a result of the increasing human activities on space that are likely to put into extinction specific components of nature, which is not only threatening humanity but also other forms of life. However, before discussing OST’s provisions, it is imperative to contextualise ISL in general international law.

            In the 67th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) conference proceedings, the author Pierfrancesco Breccia noted challenges related to the occupation of OST in the general international law.[38] The author of the conference noted that some determine it as an independent regime whereas others see it as part of the general international law. For those who see it as an independent regime often argue that it contains “…special legal systems marked by the development of special rules and verification mechanisms that differ from those of the general international law” (p.3).[39] However, despite the emerging claims that the international space law is a self-contained regime, OST (Art. III) states as follows:

            States Parties to the Treaty shall carry on activities in the exploration and use of outer       space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, in accordance with international     law, including the Charter of the United Nations, in the interest of maintaining international peace and security and promoting international cooperation and understanding.[40]

            Of particular importance in that provision is the mentioning of “international law” to imply that the international space law is part of the general international law. While performing a critical analysis of OST (Art. III), Loh Ing Hoe and colleagues noted that Art III.’s necessary interpretation lies in its recognition of OST as part of the general international law.[41] This provision’s importance is that it can guide on how the OST can be amended to accommodate the developing issues related to planetary protection in space exploration activities.  Loh Ing Hoe and colleagues’ study’s critical analysis findings revealed a considerable discrepancy between general international law and outer space law due to their highly divergent governance principles.[42] Consequently, problems related to the adoption of the OST and other outer space laws in the context of the general international law remain mostly limited, compromising the possibility of applying outer space law, such as OST, to regulate the sustainability of activities of space exploration. Simma and Pulkowski also argued that the outer space laws are independent regimes because it is loosely connected with other legal principles enshrined in the international legal framework.[43] It is because of its loose connection with other regulations that it has posed too challenging to regulate and govern the contamination of the outer space due to space exploration activities.[44] Thus, the current research project aims to offer feasible suggestions on what can be done to ensure the effective governance of outer space activities. There will be a need to link soft versus hard law and customary law/state practice to planetary protection (Committee on Space Research/COSPAR). The next section discusses the current topic in the context of soft versus hard law and its relevance in ISL.

1.3 Soft versus Hard Law in the Context of Planetary Protection

            According to Galli and Losch, lack of a political will has been the key reason for the emanation of soft-law, non-binding legal guidelines, and space exploration recommendations.[45] Hard-law/legally binding treaties seem to be outmoded since they have failed to capture the outer space’s current contamination issues. Galli and Losch concluded that renegotiation and further development of legally binding space laws would be extremely challenging, considering international space exploration politics and multilateralism trends.[46] Thus, it is also imperative to investigate what can be done to ensure the space environment’s sustainability. Joan Johnson-Freese echoed the observations of Galli and Losch that updating legally binding treaties and space laws could be an impossibility, considering geopolitical trends, such as the United States’ hesitancy to sign the Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects (PPWT).[47] Thus, due to the lack of political will, Joan Johnson-Freese argues that “soft-law” non-binding legal guidelines could be of much help in contemporariness.[48] The main observation that can be deduced from Joan Johnson-Freese and Galli and Losch’s arguments indicates that they are in favour of non-legally binding obligations rather than legally-binding ones. Thus, of most tremendous significance is how the “soft-law” can help solve the contamination-related problems in the outer space environments. For instance, the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy focuses on backward and forwards contamination, with little focus on other environmental impacts resulting from increased activities of human space exploration.[49]

            Apart from geopolitical developments in contemporariness, Jakhu and Freeland noted that other reasons that favour “soft-law” is the technological advancements and increased exploration of the outer space using strategies that were never present when even the last treaty, the 1979 Moon Agreement was being formulated and passed into law as a legally binding obligation.[50] Lack of further developments of ISL has consequently led to more countries bearing in mind the need for domestic legal regulations with considerations of “soft-law” on an international context. According to OST Art. IX:

            Any State Party to this Convention may propose amendments to the Convention.   Amendments shall enter into force for each State Party to the Convention accepting the           amendments upon their acceptance by a majority of the States Parties to the Convention            and thereafter for each remaining State Party to the Convention on the date of       acceptance by it.[51]

            In the context of the OST provision extract above, it is evident that “a majority of the States Parties” must agree to proposed amendments for a legally binding obligation to be passed into the ISL. According to Jakhu and Freeland, some states have proposed amendments to the OST and other ISL instruments, but they have failed to garner the support of the majority, leading to their non-adoption.[52] These observations are in tandem with the fact that the world lacks a political will to enter into legally binding obligations, considering the privatisation and commercialisation of space exploration activities.[53] In this case, most nations are mostly uncertain about the impact of the proposed legally binding obligations, thus rejecting them over reasons related to indecision. Therefore, the feasibility of addressing forwards and backwards contamination in space exploration context and other planetary protection issues, such as the orbital deposition of satellite objects that are likely to hinder futuristic activities lies on the possibilities provided by “soft-law.” According to Joan Johnson-Freese, the “soft-law” holds legal significance because it is based on a mutual agreement between states.[54] Jakhu and Freeland noted that they are based on guidelines and recommendations intended to reflect practice.[55] However, Jakhu and Freeland further noted that there is a possibility of updating the current treaty obligations to reflect current practice guidelines and recommendations in a legally binding manner when the correct legal pathway is pursued. The researchers noted that there are some ISL provisions under the United Nations space law treaties that have slowly evolved to become customary international law.  They said, “A new rule of customary international law emerges only after sufficient state practice and opinio juris and is said by some to be capable of amending and/or invalidating certain provision(s) of a treaty, or contributing towards a revised interpretation of the legal obligations under a treaty” (p.1).[56] Afterwards, a new customary international law can slowly evolve to become legally binding. Thus, based on the observations of these researchers, it can be deduced that the adoption of “soft-law” to reflect practice recommendations and guidelines can, over time, become legally binding. Still, unless these practice recommendations and guidelines later emerge to be perfect concerning balancing between the interests of various States Parties that engaged in that mutual non-binding agreement. Hence, based on the status quo trends, “soft-law” can be preferred to “hard-law” to cater for the uncertainties that have been brought about by rapid technological advancement in space exploration activities and the changing shape of geopolitical developments regarding these activities. It is also imperative to investigate further the claims of Jakhu and Freeland by examining customary law and state practice.

1.4 Customary International Law and State Practice in the Context of Planetary Protection

            In the previous subsection, it was revealed that a consistent practice of “soft-law” by states could slowly evolve to become customary international law, which, in turn, can quickly become a legally binding obligation. This process deems perfect in evading lack of political will that might emanate, especially when nations are uncertain and indecisive on the possible impact of the proposed legally binding obligation. This section aims to justify this process in the context of planetary protection.  

            According to Jed Odermatt, the consistent practice of “soft-law” can result in the development of new rules of customary international law, but of great significance is the extent at which various forms of practice can yield the anticipated rules.[57] For instance, if countries arrive at non-binding mutual agreements concerning the outer space environmental protection guidelines and recommendations, what remains uncertain is to what extent they will contribute to the anticipated new customary international law rules. Rebecca Crootof noted that in most case, legally binding obligations and treaties are passed into law without necessarily undergoing the process of “soft-law” to “customary international law” to “hard-law.”[58] Instead, the scholar noted that legally binding obligations could also become customary international law in instances of bilateralism and multilateralism if practised consistently and flawlessly. For example, according to Abigail Pershing, the non-appropriation provision of the OST has slowly become a customary international law over the years, without any consent from the States Parties of the treaty.[59] It is because the non-appropriation principle remained clear and unambiguous from the first day of its inception, and it has consistently been practised over the years by all member states. The main legal implication of this finding is that international law experts should look for ways of improving the quick transition of “soft-law” provisions currently guiding practice in space exploration to become customary international law. Afterwards, customary law can quickly become legally binding—for example, OST Art. III obliges states to be liable for damage caused by their space objects on another launching states’ space objects, but only when it is identified as their fault or the fault of the persons in which it is responsible.[60] In this case, this legal obligation can be interpreted as a customary international law regulating space exploration activities by launching states. In the context of outer space environmental damage, governments could also be held liable, which can quickly become customary international law. However, as indicated earlier, most states are slowly moving away from these binding obligations, probably because of the uncertainty associated with space exploration ventures or any other reasons that have not been explored in prior research. The legal concept presented above is summarised in Figure 1 below.

space exploration, planetary protection, and international law

Figure 1: Conceptual model showing the legal transition from “soft-law” to “hard-law” with customary international law as the mediator. It poses as a potential resolution to planetary protection ambiguities due to rapid technological advancements and geopolitical developments in space exploration activities by humans.

            From the conceptual model presented in Figure 1 above, many issues need to be addressed in future research. For example, the speediness of transition from “soft-law” to “hard-law” as the customary international law as a mediator needs to be determined. If it is too slow, further guidelines need to be developed to determine how to improve the rate of transition. Secondly, the extent at which the customary international law can help to transition “soft-law” into “hard-law” obligations also need to be determined. In this case, longitudinal studies might be required to track various non-binding obligations and how fast and to what extent they transitioned to binding obligations. Also, as stated earlier, for non-binding obligations to transition into customary international law, they need to be practiced collectively and consistently in a multilateral environment. Therefore, research should also determine how the stability of “soft-law” obligations can be improved to guarantee consistent and collective observations by states in that mutual agreement. Thus, it is apparent that the legal environment governing space exploration activities by states is far from being clear, which requires the international community to engage in meaningful discussions to boost understanding between states to improve mutuality and collectivity. The next paragraphs of this section discuss the issue of state practice and customary law and its extension to the subject matter of planetary protection.

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[1] Yang Gao and Steve Chien, “Review on space robotics: Toward top-level science through space exploration” (2017) 2 Science Robotics eaan5074

[2] Qiong Wang and Jizhong Liu, “A Chang’e-4 mission concept and vision of future Chinese lunar exploration activities” (2016) 127 Acta Astronautica 678-683

[3] Thomas M. Roehr and others, “Reconfigurable Integrated Multirobot Exploration System (RIMRES): Heterogeneous Modular Reconfigurable Robots for Space Exploration” (2013) 31 Journal of Field Robotics 3-34

[4] Jaya Preethi Mohan and N. Tejaswi, “A Study on Embedding the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning into Space Exploration and Astronomy” [2019] Emerging Trends in Computing and Expert Technology 1295-1302

[5] Brian Beck, “The Next, Small Step for Mankind: Fixing the Inadequacies of the International Space Law Treaty Regime to Accommodate the Modern Space Flight Industry” (2009) 19 Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology

[6] Brian Beck, “The Next, Small Step for Mankind: Fixing the Inadequacies of the International Space Law Treaty Regime to Accommodate the Modern Space Flight Industry” (2009) 19 Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology

[7] Sarah Coffey, “Establishing a Legal Framework for Property Rights to Natural Resources in Outer Space” (2009) 41 Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law

[8] Rada Popova and Volker Schaus, “The Legal Framework for Space Debris Remediation as a Tool for Sustainability in Outer Space” (2018) 5 Aerospace 55

[9] Chandana Rohitha Rajapaksa and Jagath K. Wijerathna, “Adaptation to Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines and Space Law” (2017) 15 Astropolitics 65-76

[10] Lorenzo Olivieri and Alessandro Francesconi, “Large constellations assessment and optimization in LEO space debris environment” (2020) 65 Advances in Space Research 351-363

[11] Matthew Weinzierl, “Space, the Final Economic Frontier” (2018) 32 Journal of Economic Perspectives 173-192

[12] Nikolaos Iliopoulos and Miguel Esteban, “Sustainable space exploration and its relevance to the privatization of space ventures” (2020) 167 Acta Astronautica 85-92

[13] Giancarlo Graziola, “The Space Economy and Its Statistics: What Do They Tell Us?” (2018) 6 New Space 269-287

[14] S.W. Chiu, “Promoting international co-operation in the age of global space governance – A study on on-orbit servicing operations” (2019) 161 Acta Astronautica 375-381

[15] Adam F. Greenstone, “Ethics and public integrity in space exploration” (2018) 143 Acta Astronautica 322-326

[16] Jai Galliott and others, Commercial Space Exploration: Ethics, Policy and Governance (Routledge 2016)

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[32] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Build on the outer space treaty” (2017) 550 Nature 182-184

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[34] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Build on the outer space treaty” (2017) 550 Nature 182-184

[35] Steven Freeland and Anja Nakarada Pecujlic, “How do you like your regulation: hard or soft? The Antarctic Treaty and the Outer Space Treaty compared” (2018) 30 National Law School of India Review 11-36

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[38] Pierfrancesco Breccia, “Article III of Outer Space Treaty and Its Relevance in the International Space Legal Framework” (International Astronautical Federation (IAF) 2016)

[39] Pierfrancesco Breccia, “Article III of Outer Space Treaty and Its Relevance in the International Space Legal Framework” (International Astronautical Federation (IAF) 2016)

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[45] André Galli and Andreas Losch, “Beyond planetary protection: What is planetary sustainability and what are its implications for space research?” (2019) 23 Life Sciences in Space Research 3-9

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[47] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Build on the outer space treaty” (2017) 550 Nature 182-184

[48] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Build on the outer space treaty” (2017) 550 Nature 182-184

[49] André Galli and Andreas Losch, “Beyond planetary protection: What is planetary sustainability and what are its implications for space research?” (2019) 23 Life Sciences in Space Research 3-9

[50] Ram S. Jakhu and Steven Freeland, “The Relationship Between the Outer Space Treaty and Customary International Law” [2016] SSRN Electronic Journal

[51] Stephen Gorove, “The Outer Space Treaty” (1967) 23 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 44-45

[52] Ram S. Jakhu and Steven Freeland, “The Relationship Between the Outer Space Treaty and Customary International Law” [2016] SSRN Electronic Journal

[53] André Galli and Andreas Losch, “Beyond planetary protection: What is planetary sustainability and what are its implications for space research?” (2019) 23 Life Sciences in Space Research 3-9

[54] Joan Johnson-Freese, “Build on the outer space treaty” (2017) 550 Nature 182-184

[55] Ram S. Jakhu and Steven Freeland, “The Relationship Between the Outer Space Treaty and Customary International Law” [2016] SSRN Electronic Journal

[56] Ram S. Jakhu and Steven Freeland, “The Relationship Between the Outer Space Treaty and Customary International Law” [2016] SSRN Electronic Journal

[57] Jed Odermatt, “The Development of Customary International Law by International Organizations” (2017) 66 International and Comparative Law Quarterly 491-511

[58] Rebecca Crootof, “Change Without Consent: How Customary International Law Modifies Treaties” (2016) 41 The Yale Journal of International Law 238-299

[59] Abigail Pershing, “Interpreting the Outer Space Treaty’s Non-Appropriation Principle: Customary International Law from 1967 to Today” (2019) 44 The Yale Journal of International Law 149-178

[60] Stephen Gorove, “The Outer Space Treaty” (1967) 23 Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 44-45

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