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Daniel P. Murray

This chapter details the performance-based regulatory framework for space transportation developed by the US Federal Aviation Administration Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA AST). The aim of the framework adopted by the FAA AST is to ensure the protection of the public, property and the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States during commercial launch or re-entry activities, and it encourages, facilitates and promotes US commercial space transportation. In fulfilling its safety mission FAA AST grants a licence or a permit to a launch vehicle operator based on the operator’s demonstration that it has met the applicable requirements of the US Code of Federal Regulations. Given the success of this approach, the FAA AST has recently started undertaking international cooperation efforts to assist other administrations in developing a similar approach. Keywords: commercial space transportation; US federal law: safety; international cooperation

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Jan Wouters, Philip De Man and Rik Hansen

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Armel Kerrest

Although we have long moved on from a spacefaring environment dominated by the actions of two State powers, modern space law is still centred on the notion of ‘launching States’, including as the basic concept for applying the Liability Convention. This chapter asks whether the legal framework established at the time of adoption of the Liability Convention is still efficient for the regulation of commercial space ventures, in particular by questioning the continuing relevance and definition of the concept of ‘launching State’. This question will be considered in four steps, discussing in turn (1) the importance of the notion of launching States; (2) the interest of holding States liable for damage caused by a space object; (3) the implications of private entities getting involved in this framework; and (4) the entity carrying the risk created by private space activities. Keywords: launching State; liability; private actors

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Jeremy Stubbs

This chapter concentrates on the thought processes and challenges that were faced by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in carrying out a recent review to determine the requirements from an operational and regulatory perspective to enable spaceplanes to operate from the UK by 2018, pending demonstration of feasibility and a decision to do so. The chapter covers the following issues tackled by the review: (1) the extent to which the UK can support safe spaceplane operations; (2) possible options for the certification of spaceplanes, engines and associated systems; (3) the key characteristics and potential locations of a spaceport; and (4) a possible understanding of the future market for spaceplane operations. Keywords: commercial spaceplane operations; spaceport; certification; UK law

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Jean-Bruno Marciacq

This chapter discusses the role of the European Aviation Safety Agency, established in 2002 pursuant to a provision in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, in regulating sub-orbital and orbital aircraft (SOA) airworthiness, their crew, operations, insertion into the traffic and utilisation of aerodromes. In particular, this chapter intends to update the approach initially proposed at the 3rd International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety conference and complemented at the 61st International Astronautical Congress. The chapter seeks to incorporate sub-orbital and orbital aircraft into the EU regulatory system and to establish a consistent regulatory framework allowing safe and environmentally controlled operations of SOA in Europe. In addition to this update, a discussion on why SOA are indeed aircraft and not rockets is attached as an appendix to the chapter. Keywords: sub-orbital and orbital aircraft; European Union; European Aviation Safety Agency; aircraft definition

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Katrin Nyman-Metcalf

This chapter discusses the impact of the dramatic broadening of the field of players engaged in spacefaring on the space law-making process at the international level. With space use growing constantly, new space regulation needs to fit a technologically complex and international area of activity, not falling under the jurisdiction of any one State, but to be used for the benefit of mankind, given that technological developments can be very fast. This chapter draws parallels in this respect between the areas of space law and cyberspace. For cyberspace, self-regulation has become an important regulation method while still maintaining the maximum freedom of action. Consequently, the chapter examines what self-regulation may have to offer for outer space. Keywords: global space governance; cyberspace; self-regulation; space tourism; space debris

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Mike N. Gold and Christopher M. Hearsey

This chapter reviews the legal, policy, and historical factors that impacted the current reforms as well as how, subsequent to the Genesis campaigns, Bigelow Aerospace pursued changes to the application of the US International Traffic in Arms Regulation to its commercial operations. Moreover, the issues discussed herein are scoped to the current promulgation of the final rule to the amendments to Category XV of the United States Munitions List. Finally, the chapter ends with a description of the lessons learned from Bigelow Aerospace’s efforts. Keywords: dual use; export control: International Traffic in Arms Regulation; US federal law; Bigelow Aerospace; munitions

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Thierry Herman and Alexander Soucek

This chapter provides elements for consideration regarding the regulation of sub-orbital flights carrying humans, in particular those carried out for commercial purposes. The authors argue that the formulation or application of law concerning this issue should be anticipated by establishing clarity in respect of two questions. First, what needs to be achieved? Second, how can this best be achieved? To answer those questions, the chapter proposes elements for discussion rather than conclusive answers. The authors argue that clarity over the purposes for regulation plays as much a role as the experience gained from existing regimes and precision in definitions and semantics. They recall characteristics of the two systems that are considered apparent ‘candidate regimes’ for regulating commercial suborbital flights. Finally, they present two examples of domestic regulatory approaches that deal with different subjects and yet reveal certain commonalities. Keywords: commercial sub-orbital flight; air law; aircraft; space object; US federal law; French law

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Jean-François Mayence

The United Nations Committee for the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is the cradle of the five treaties on outer space and the arena wherein several resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly dealing with space activities have been drafted. It has more than seventy Member States, with more or less involvement in the space business, and several intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as observers. This chapter seeks to review how, in almost sixty years of existence, its work has involved the representatives of the private space sector and how such involvement could be achieved in the future. Keywords: UNCOPUOS; non-State actors; global space governance; global public goods

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Steven Wood

This chapter discusses the impact of manned commercial space activities on the legal definition of space tourists. Specifically, the chapter aims to answer the question whether space tourists are eligible to receive rescue assistance in outer space under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1968 Astronaut Return and Rescue Agreement. Answering this question depends, in turn, upon the resolution of several other challenging questions, including whether space tourists qualify as ‘astronauts’ or ‘personnel of a spacecraft’, as well as determination of the precise criteria required by the OST and RRA rescue provisions. The author raises and discusses a number of arguments to support the position that these definitions should be interpreted as inclusive of space tourists, taking into account the meaning of the verb ‘have alighted’ in the relevant provisions, and the underlying humanitarian objectives and purposes of the RRA to provide for search and rescue for all spacecraft personnel in danger. Keywords: space tourist; astronaut; personnel of a spacecraft; rescue and return; definitions