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including the US. Outer space. . In 1976 eight equatorial countries claimed sovereignty over the geostationary orbital arc above their territory. Most Western nations. and other celestial bodies are not subject to appropriation by claim of sovereignty. Objects launched into space must be registered with the UN. Consequently. A country is responsible for regulating. that are specifically prohibited. Most other countries. International lawyers worldwide have been unable to see eye to eye on a uniform definition of the term "outer space´. There are various views on about the definition and delimitation of air and outer space and it is but obvious that there is a practical and legal necessity to define the legal boundaries between them both. Socrates. rejected the claim. all nonaggressive military use of space is permitted. one of the world¶s greatest Greek philosopher had once remarked saying that ³Man must rise above the earth ± to the top of the atmosphere and beyond-for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives´.A country retains jurisdiction and control over its registered space objects. Outer space is free for use by all countries.SPACE LAW Air Space of a State is the responsibility of that State alone and other States can get control over it only by means of some treaties. the Moon. Outer space will be used for peaceful purposes only. noted elsewhere in this section. including all major space powers. except for certain activities. and is ultimately liable for. Most lawyers agree that outer space generally begins at the lowest altitude above sea level at which objects can orbit the Earth. This rule applies regardless of the condition of the objects. Space law is an area of the law that encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. This principle is related to the nonappropriation principle and is analogous to the right of innocent passage on the high seas. equate peaceful purposes with nonaggressive ones. or any other means. approximately 100 km (62 mi). the outer space activities of its citizens. use or occupation.

The inception of the field of space law began with the launch of the world's first artificial satellite by the Soviet Union in October 1957 named Sputnik 1. Early Developments: Beginning in 1957. space law has evolved and assumed more importance as humankind has increasingly come to use and rely on space-based resources. The first UN conference on Outer Space i. Some important provisions of this Treaty are : y Outer Space including the moon and other celestial bodies are free for exploration and can be used by all States without discrimination of any kind. The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is the only international forum for the development of international space law. The satellite was launched as part of the International Geophysical Year. nuclear power resources. definition and delimitation of outer space and arms race in outer space. UNISPACE-1 was held in August. geostationary orbits. Its inception was in 1967 and is a landmark in this connection. The COPUOS Legal Subcommittee has been a primary forum for discussion and negotiation of international agreements relating to outer space. nations began discussing systems to ensure the peaceful use of outer space. with 98 parties. Bilateral discussions between the United States and USSR in 1958 resulted in the presentation of issues to the UN for debate. Since that time. the Liability Convention and the Registration Convention all elaborate on provisions of the Outer Space Treaty.The Outer Space Treaty is the most widely-adopted treaty.For some time it was believed that the States exercised unlimited sovereignty over its outer space.e. International Treaties: Five international treaties have been negotiated and drafted in the COPUOS: 1)Outer Space Treaty. There shall be freedom of scientific investigation to outer space. This committee is concerned with questions such as remote sensing. In 1959 the UN created the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). . the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee and the Legal Subcommittee. The Rescue Agreement. COPUOS in turn created two subcommittees. 1968 and was attended by 78 states.

the testing of any type weapons and military maneouvres on celestial bodies shall be forbidden.The Liability Convention establishes a just mode of compensation in the event of damage being caused by establishing a Claims Commission to settle disputes of claims. Article IV provides for damage caused to a third State by two independently launching States. installations and fortifications. Article 1 defines damages. The State recievinf information shall take care of the astronaut. Article III refers to damage caused by the State launching space object to the space object of another country. which would be jointly liable. Article II provides for absolute liability on the earth for damage caused to flight or aircrafts. Each launching State has to inform . the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space ("Rescue Agreement"). The expenses for such work shall be bourne by the launching state. y Each State that launches an object into outer space is internationally liable to damage to another State or to its natural or juridical persons by such an object or its component parts on earth.y Outer Space including the moon and other celestial bodies is not subject to national appropriation by claim of soveregnity. y Astronauts shall be regarded as envoys of mankind in outer space and every State shall render them all help when necessary in times of distress. 4) The 1975 Convention on Registration of Objects Launched Into Outer Space (the "Registration Convention").This ensures that for space activities States are liable for damage caused in space or Earth by space objects.This is the fourth landmark. 3)The 1972 Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects ("Liability Convention"). accident or emergency and prompt return of astronauts and space objects to the launching State. y The establishment of military bases. 2) Rescue of Astronauts. When astronauts make a landing they will promptly be returned to their State of registry. by means of use or occupation or by any other means.It was signed in 1968. It calls for rendering of all possible assistance to astronauts in the event of distress .

the freedom of exploration. most notably by elaborating upon the Outer Space Treaty's provisions regarding resource appropriation and prohibition of territorial sovereignty. 5)The 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the "Moon Treaty")-U. arms control. India has not ratified the treaty. scientific investigation and the exploitation of natural resources in outer space and the settlement of disputes.N. Each of the treaties lays great stress on the notion that the domain of outer space. On January 1st. liability for damage caused by space objects.2006 45 states have ratified this convention. delegates apparently intended that the Moon Treaty serve as a new comprehensive treaty which would supersede or supplement the Outer Space Treaty. India is the only nation that has both signed the Moon Treaty and declared itself interested in going to the moon. The international legal principles in these five treaties provide for non-appropriation of outer space by any one country. the dissemination and exchange of information through transnational direct television broadcasting via satellites and remote satellite observations of Earth and general standards regulating the safe use of nuclear power sources necessary for the exploration and use of outer space. an analysis of India's treaty law is required to understand how this affects India legally. the safety and rescue of spacecraft and astronauts. and many consider it to be a failed treaty due to its limited acceptance. . the notification and registration of space activities. The five sets of legal principles adopted by the United Nations General Assembly provide for the application of international law and promotion of international cooperation and understanding in space activities. The Moon Treaty has only 13 parties. the activities carried out therein and whatever benefits might accrue there from should be devoted to enhancing the well-being of all countries and humankind. and each includes elements elaborating the common idea of promoting international cooperation in outer space activities.Secretary-General of UN and register the space object by means of an appropriate registry. the prevention of harmful interference with space activities and the environment.

Nuclear Weapons: In addition. before this prohibition. the 1963 Treaty Banning Nuclear Weapon Tests in the Atmosphere. provided such systems are operating in accordance with generally recognized principles of international law and are in fact being used to verify provisions of specific treaties. or fortifications. and the committees cannot place new items on their agendas unless all member nations agree. All committee and subcommittee delegates must agree on treaty language before it can be included in the final version of a treaty. or deployment of space-based antiballistic missile (ABM) systems or components is prohibited. Nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction (such as chemical and biological weapons) may not be placed into orbit. This provision of the ABM Treaty and. One . Such an experiment would be prohibited today. or conduct military maneuvers on celestial bodies. establish military bases. Nuclear weapons tests and other nuclear explosions in outer space are prohibited. and Under Water i. This prohibition does not apply to research and development of spacebased ABMs preceding field testing. in Outer Space. Interfering with national technical means of verification is prohibited.e. It is quite possible that signatories could renegotiate or even eliminate the treaty before the end of the decade. or stationed in space in any other manner. the US exploded three small nuclear devices in outer space over the course of two weeks in Project Argus. Consensus: The COPUOS operates on the basis of consensus. A country may not test any kind of weapon. In 1958. The development. the entire treaty (see table 1) have received much public attention in recent years because of progress in the Strategic Defense Initiative. installed on celestial bodies. testing."Partial Test Ban Treaty" banned the testing of nuclear weapons in outer space. The use of military personnel for scientific research or other peaceful purposes is permitted. installations. in fact.

while still ensuring that commercial activities comply with international law. because entrenched differences regarding resource appropriation. the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee has been unable to achieve consensus on discussion of a new comprehensive space agreement. about 35. The developing nations are concerned that the space faring nations will monopolize space resources.Countries located at the Earth's equator have also asserted their legal claim to control the use of space above their territory. National Law: Space law also encompasses national laws and many countries have passed national space legislation in recent years. The challenge is to regulate these activities in a manner that does not hinder or preclude investment. Many space faring nations seem to believe that discussing a new space agreement or amendment of the Outer Space Treaty would be futile and time consuming. The Outer Space Treaty requires parties to authorize and manage national space activities of non-governmental entities such as commercial and non-profit organizations. The advent of commercial space activities beyond the scope of the satellite communications industry. is because it is easier to achieve consensus when language and terms are vague. and requires parties to ensure that activities are conducted in accordance with other forms of international law such as customary international law .800 km into space. The requirement to space these satellites apart means that there is a limited number of orbital "slots" available. thus only a limited number of satellites can be placed in geostationary orbit. and the development of many commercial spaceports. This has led to conflict between different countries wishing access to the same orbital slots (countries at the same longitude but differing latitudes). property rights and other issues relating to commercial activity make consensus unlikely.reason that the U. space treaties lack definitions and are unclear in other respects. In 1976. The Outer Space Treaty also incorporates the UN Charter by reference. Geostationary orbits: Satellites in geostationary orbit must all occupy a single ring above the equator. . and it is also unlikely that the Subcommittee will be able to agree to amend the Outer Space Treaty in the foreseeable future. countries located at the Earth's equator created the Bogota Declaration.N. is leading many countries to consider how to regulate private space activities. In recent years. in which they asserted their legal claim to control the use of space above their territory.

The amount of stuff floating round the Earth increases the risk of collisions. Of course. but no country on Earth is going to respect your moon property. Another aspect of this trend is that the geostationary orbit is becoming congested with satellites and other objects. If you are going to buy land on the Moon.. you¶ve got to understand that this is for entertainment purposes only. if you were able to fly up to the Moon. multiplying the growing problem of space debris. the Magna Carta of spaceflight. and nobody can really stop you. You might get the documentation. They¶ll charge a few dollars to ³own´ a few acres on the Moon. This arguably causes a tension with the commercialization of space. If you still want to buy land. The company selling the land doesn¶t have the rights to it.. then it¶s really yours. If you¶re the first place to find somewhere. with no one to complain to. go ahead« but buyer beware.Space Law Today : With space tourism and greater commercial exploitation of space on the horizon certain questions today have no answer: If an American astronaut assaulted a Russian in the Japanese section of the International Space Station. and shall be the province of all mankind´. then you get to own it. There are a couple of companies who claim that ownership of outer space is just like exploration on Earth. And some day. And if you just say that something¶s yours. it would be pretty difficult for anyone to stop you. long in the future. as seen by the sale in 2005 of land on the Moon. is that the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out ³for the benefit and in the interests of all countries . under whose criminal law would he be prosecuted? Could anyone stop a company launching into outer space an advertisement that would be visible to large parts of the world? What about our right to privacy from satellites that can focus to within a few metres of the ground? And what nationality would a child born on the Moon have? The treaties such as Outer Space Act 1986 set the context for space law. of rockets sent into space hitting something on the way and of debris falling to Earth. A fundamental principle of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. you might find someone setting up a lunar golf course on your acreage. and no other organization on Earth will respect the property right claim. and build a house.So adding to debris could be the reason to stop that .

and limited only by our ability to use them in a manner that is fair and equitable to all nations and which is environmentally ethical. If commercial space transportation becomes widely available. the Outer Space Treaty is clear that space and celestial bodies cannot be appropriated. Despite the many companies offering to sell such attractive rights. a policy that harms the space industry¶s competitiveness. In that situation. High costs are not the only factor preventing the economic exploitation of space: it is argued that space should be considered as a pristine environment worthy of protection and conservation. ³Fees for use of a resource are common terrestrially then shouldn¶t it be for Space also. So what are you getting for your money? ³A piece of paper. with substantially lower launch costs. ³And perhaps an attractive frame. There is a new theory that companies should pay a fee for using space. But others interested in following suit to revive their practices by buying and selling stars. Debatably the resources of space are infinite. and that the legal regime for space should further protect it from being used as a resource for Earth's wanting a license to launch a space advertisement ² there appears no obvious ground otherwise. The general legal position under the treaties is that nations are liable for events caused by objects launched from their territory. Debate is also focused on whether space should continue to be legally defined as part of the ³common . then all countries will be able to directly reap the benefits of space resources. space law has really been earth law. New branches of the discipline will probably develop into astro-law as it applies to outer space and astro-law relating to celestial bodies. So far. but regardless of its applicability.´ replied a Space law expert .´ Future of Space Law: This field of law is still in its infancy but it is in an era of rapid change and development. asteroids or plots on the Moon will be disappointed. However. it seems likely that consensus will be much easier to achieve with respect to commercial development and human settlement of outer space. uniquely the UK Government passes on this liability in full to the private sector. international space law should stem from humanistic philosophies evolved from rules and forums developed here on earth.

. Therefore we look to space law and science with a vision of beauty and harmony for the universe.heritage of man.´ and therefore unavailable for national claims. or whether its legal definition should be changed to allow private property in space. and through our sense of beauty we realize harmony in the universe´. ³ through our sense of truth we realize law in creation. Conclusion: Space law has brought forth a vision for harmony in universe and unity of knowledge. To quote Rabindranath Tagore.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. www.2010) 3. Sandeepa Bhat B.oosa.2009) 2. . Eastern Book Company( 1st 5. International Law and Human Rights . 4.. Dr S..Central Law Agency( 17th edn. rescommunis. Space Law in the era of Commercialization.unvienna.K.