Res Communis and the Space Race: A Lesson (Yet To Be) Learned


  • Nurah Ghanie


There has been a shift towards privatization and nationalism regarding the exploration of outer space despite these actions being in direct opposition to international space law. This article will explain and argue against these recent developments, using the current dilemma regarding the future of the space stations located in low Earth orbit (LEO) and the potential for a manned bases on the Moon. This article will focus on the legal framework of both international customary law as well as multilateral treaties, including but not limited to the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 in comparison to national policy by explaining the ironic and concerning developments currently happening in contrast to those during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union. As a result, it will be argued that we must not repeat the mistakes of that era and must instead learn from them and substantiate them in the form of international and national law, building on the legal regime founded during that time.