Insurers as Regulators of Space Safety and Sustainability

The Outer Space Treaty and all other international Space Law conventions are silent as to where outer space begins, and rule of conventional or customary international law defines where airspace ends and outer space begins. In 1972, Judge Manfred Lachs of the International Court of Justice asked the questions: (1) where are the frontiers of outer space; and (2) given that said frontiers are not yet established, is there any real dilemma in their absence? The first question became relevant in 1959 with the launch of Sputnik, and was not treated with urgency. For decades, there has been a reluctance to define the boundaries of space for fear that too niggardly a limit would restrict development, use and exploration of space. Further, it was deemed desirable to wait until technology had evolved sufficiently to demonstrate both the need for a limitation, and provided a better understanding of where an appropriate limit should be set. This paper contends that given the accelerated contemporary development of emerging aerospace activities and technologies, many of which utilize near space for their activities, and a desire to foster continued commercial development of space, the time has come to find an agreeable solution to the question of the inner frontier of outer space, and the outer frontier of airspace. The paper will examine the legal, political and practical implications of setting the airspace/outer space boundary, particularly in the context of emerging modes of commercial space transportation and a recent decision by the FAA-AST to license an aerospace vehicle intended to operate at an altitude of 30 kilometers as a "space object".


  • English


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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01678234
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Federal Aviation Administration Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation
  • Files: RIP, USDOT
  • Created Date: Aug 22 2018 1:03PM