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During the third edition …. Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based global investor, will showcase the latest development across its diverse aerospace portfolio at Dubai Airshow , which runs from November The Angolan company will utilize capacity on AMOS primarily for cellular backhaul to better connect rural and low-density communities throughout ….

On the occasion of the NewSpace Europe conference, Bradford Space, Deep Space Industries DSI and the Luxembourg Space Agency announced they will take the next step towards developing critical low-cost spacecraft subsystems for deep space and earth-orbit missions. The start of the programme is expected to kick-off in the next …. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and …. SpaceWatch Features. This is because states were uncertain about what the future of space exploration might hold, and therefore wanted to preserve their right to action as much as possible.

The negotiators of the Outer Space Treaty did seek to place some limitation on state action vis-a-vis other states. These are obligations that states must comply with and owe externally to other states in the international community. The first of these obligations connects the general duty to maintain international peace and security to space and extends the framework of the UN Charter into space.

UNGA, , Principle 4.

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The extension of international law into outer space means that general international law applicable among states will govern their activities in space along with the lex specialis of outer space. It also means that other specialized areas of international law, such as the law of armed conflict, will apply in space when the proper circumstances are present.

UNGA, , Principle 3. This is further bolstered by the principle, found in Art. UNGA, , Principle 2. By denying states the ability to gain sovereignty over places in outer space, the negotiators sought to disincentivize states from engaging in conflict over that territory. The non-appropriation principle has consistently been the source of much debate, as its effects on private property rights are unclear, likely because the negotiators of the treaty were more concerned with security issues rather than issues of commercial exploitation for the diversity in literature on Art. Article IV places specific limitations on weaponization and military action in outer space.

The specific ban of all weapons only applies to celestial bodies, whereas the ban on WMD only applies to space in general. By implication, therefore, it can be said that conventional weapons and military activities are legal in the void of space under the terms of the Outer Space Treaty.

A further question arises as to what constitutes a WMD being placed or stationed in space, since ICBMs armed with nuclear warheads, which are considered a legal defensive weapon terrestrially, would traverse space in their ballistic trajectory. The United States and the Soviet Union seemed to agree that to be placed in space a weapon would need to complete a full orbit of the Earth Garthoff, — UNGA, , Principles 5, 7, and 8.

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This set of mechanisms also consists of obligations, but these obligations have more ambiguity in their application than those discussed in the previous subsection. Article VI is the foundation to the responsibility regime, and it is a unique treaty clause in international law. Generally, states are not to be held internationally responsible for the actions of their nongovernmental actors unless some form of agency can be established that links the nongovernmental actor to the state International Law Commission, , Chap. The reasoning behind this provision can be attributed to the ambiguous nature of space activities.

It is very difficult to determine the operations of any given satellite and who is operating it, thus Article VI removes a layer of ambiguity through which a state might argue that they were not connected with a space activity. Article VI then serves to assure all states that all space actors, even those not directly under the control of a state, are operating in compliance within the bounds of the international legal regime. This is important context in a strategic environment. Article VII extends the idea of international responsibility which is connected to breaches of international law and makes states liable for damage caused by its space objects.

A strict liability regime applies to damage caused on the surface of the Earth, including damage caused to aircraft in flight, and a fault-based liability regime applies to damage caused in space Liability Convention, , Art. Similar to the responsibility provisions, this provision and its follow-on treaty are meant to ensure that states behave responsibly in space by placing burdens on noncompliant behavior.

Liability under these provisions has only been appealed to once, in the case of Cosmos, a Soviet nuclear-powered satellite that impacted Canadian territory in Protocol Between the Government of Canada. Though Canada invoked the liability regime, the parties settled the dispute diplomatically. If a harmed or damaged state is seeking to determine the state to which it should address its grievances, then this provision seeks to require that there be at least one state that cannot shirk that responsibility.

The concept of registration is poorly defined in Article VIII and was expanded on in the Registration Convention, which requires states to maintain a registry and to provide information to the UN Secretary General for inclusion in a register of space objects maintained by the UN Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space [Registration Convention], , Arts.


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The final set of mechanisms in the Outer Space Treaty that are intended to enhance international peace and security are socialization mechanisms. These are softer mechanisms that are meant to create engagement on space among states within the international community structure established under the UN Charter.

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These mechanisms seek to socialize states through cooperation and communication in the space domain, and the intent is that, through such socialization, space will be secured by building trust and confidence among states. The first set of these obligations are aspirational in nature, but build on the non-territoriality of outer space.


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  • They seek to frame space as a place meant to serve the entirety of the human population. While it cannot be said to go as far as requiring equal benefit sharing across the globe, it is a significant statement by the negotiators of the treaty on how states should conduct their space activities see also UNGA, , Res. The second group of socialization mechanisms emphasizes the value of international cooperation in space cf. UN Charter Art. The value placed on international cooperation can be seen in its prevalence throughout the Outer Space Treaty. It is further implied in the assistance and reciprocity components of Art.

    The obligation to engage in international cooperation is, for the most part, aspirational in scope and gives no specifics as to the extent to which states should engage in these activities. The final set of mechanism seeks to encourage information sharing regimes to bolster trust between states with regard to their space operations. Due to the opacity of space activities, it can be difficult to discern a peaceful use from a non-peaceful use.

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    A not insignificant example is that an early warning system would be unable to discern the difference in the plumes created by a space launch vehicle and an ICBM. To this end, the negotiators built in informational exchanges as a way to increase security in space. IX; for further discussion, see Blount, , pp. This provision falls far short of a formal dispute resolution mechanism, which is absent from the Outer Space Treaty, but it again represents an effort by negotiators to encourage states to exchange information in order to support secure and safe space activities.

    Since the outer space legal regime is intended to prevent conflict in outer space, and Article IV of the Outer Space Treaty leaves open the possibility of conventional weapons placed in space, then a critical question for space activities is the legality of weaponization.

    The history of arms control in space begins before the adoption of the Outer Space Treaty. The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of prohibited state parties from engaging in nuclear tests in outer space, the atmosphere, and underwater, but the international community has never adopted formal legal measures to ban non-WMD weapons from space.

    These efforts have had a significant detractor in the United States, which has vacillated between negative votes and abstentions on PAROS resolutions. However, due to procedural rules, which require the CD to adopt a Program of Work annually and by consensus, it has been deadlocked for close to two decades, and has been unable to make headway in the matter. This policy changed under the Obama Administration in , but the CD remains deadlocked based on other issues, including fissile materials.

    There have been two recent agreements that were intended to advance the cause of keeping space de-weaponized. This draft text would ban states from placing conventional weapons in outer space, but has been criticized for its lack of verification mechanisms, for allowing Earth to space weapons deployment, and for placing no restrictions on development of these weapons CD, a , Art.

    II; CD, b. Further, since this document was introduced as a multilateral disarmament treaty to the CD, it will not advance unless the deadlock of the CD can be broken. This is a nonbinding agreement that was brought forward by the European Union. In light of the lack of progress at the CD, the EU opted to use a nonbinding agreement, which would fall outside the CD mandate. This agreement went through three rounds of international consultations before the EU called for a formal negotiation in These negotiations failed for a variety of reasons, and the future of the agreement is unclear Blount, To date, there is no verified placement, by a state, of a weapon in Earth orbit.

    These showings of ASAT capability mean that possibly one of the most salient places to look for legal restrictions on space weapons is the international law of armed conflict LOAC. Further, it has provisions on weapons that affect the legality of weapons outside of an armed conflict. To this end, states are required to do a legal review of weapons that they develop to ensure that these weapons are compliant with the law Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August , and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts [API], , Art.

    Importantly for outer space, states cannot deploy weapons that are indiscriminate in nature, meaning that the weapon must be able to be used in such a way that they can be targeted specifically at military targets and avoid unduly affecting civilians or civilian objects API, , Arts. Kinetic antisatellite weapons can cause large debris clouds that could place civilian objects satellites and civilians who rely on satellite services at risk, which may mean that they rise to the level of an indiscriminate weapon.

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    The long-term effects of space debris may be precluded by this treaty Blount, , pp. These limitations would apply to those weapons that destroy a satellite causing it to break up on orbit, which has been the method of all ASATs to date; however, new capabilities based on cyber or on-orbit servicing capabilities, which would avoid debris creation, would like not run afoul of LOACs bar on indiscriminate effects.

    Though the core goal of the space treaty regime is the maintenance of international peace and security, it must be remembered that this task was to be accomplished in an international governance system that made sovereign equality a foundational notion.