What does space law consist of?

Parameters of space law include space exploration, liability for damage, use of weapons, rescue efforts, preservation of the environment, information exchange, new technologies and ethics. Space law can be described as the set of laws governing space-related activities. Space law, like general international law, encompasses a variety of international agreements, treaties, conventions and resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly, as well as rules and regulations of international organizations. The delimitation between airspace and outer space is not yet legally defined.

However, there are no restrictions on the transit of weapons of mass destruction through outer space, nor restrictions on conventional weapons, although Article IV goes on to list some specific prohibitions on military activities on the Moon and other celestial bodies. States' decisions to develop unilateral space policies, with little concern for international cooperation, are creating more constraints than benefits. The current global framework of space governance has been slow to take into account evolving state and industrial practices, as well as technological changes, especially around issues of celestial resource use and militarization of space. In today's world, however, 72 nations claim to have space agencies and 14 are capable of performing an orbital launch.

The past few decades have witnessed the biggest changes in space establishment since the Cold War. However, it is considered clear that international space law applies to objects in orbit and beyond, that it applies to things that can be described as “space objects”, including rockets from at least the time of “intentional ignition”, applies to astronauts and applies to any conduct that may describe itself as a “national activity in outer space”. The Rescue and Return Agreement provides for the rescue and return of endangered astronauts and space objects to their launching authorities. Of the many challenges facing global space governance, increasing space debris, overcrowded orbits, radio frequency interference, issues of spectrum allocation and the development of antispace capabilities, none can be addressed without re-establishing intergovernmental bodies with the capacity to develop an effective outer space regime.

Status of international agreements relating to outer space activities of the Office for Outer Space Affairs. the space treaties that form the backbone of the global space governance framework are products of their time, which explains their special emphasis on preventing the militarization and colonization of space. The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), serviced by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), plays an important role in the development of the many aspects of space law, as do the agreements intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, together with informal agreements between bodies active in space. The growth of the commercial space sector has proven to be the only space-related development since the foundations of international space governance were laid in the 1960s and 1970s.

As such, since an increasingly democratized and more accessible space will inevitably bring more man-made threats and challenges to the sustainability of space, it will be necessary to strengthen the current system of space governance to effectively address the challenges of the near future. A mature area for formal, standards-based international collaboration is Space Situation Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM). While the Outer Space Treaty is the cornerstone of international space regulation (with 111 ratifications and 23 signatories), gaps in governance became evident immediately after its adoption. .