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Governing in a Crowded Space: The OST and Development of the Legal Regime for Space: A Virtual Think Tank (ViTTa) (registered trademark) Report

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Technical Report

Corporate Author:

Joint Staff J39, Strategic Multilayer Assessment Washington, DC United States

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The 1967 Outer Space Treaty OST is the lynchpin of the current international legal regime for space. 105 countries have ratified the treaty, while another 25 are signatories. The OST extends the UN Charter and its underlying principles to outer space Berkowitz, and provides additional principles to guide activities in space. These principles have been elaborated and further codified in three subsequent UN treaties related to space activity the 1968 Rescue Agreement, 1972 Liability Convention, and 1975 Registration Convention. The OST and the other core treaties were drafted in a relatively short time in the late 1960s to mid-1970s. The principles upon which they rest peaceful use of space, free access, and non-territoriality clearly reflect a shared contemporary concern that Cold War competition could spill over into space. Today, these principles can often be found at the center of arguments that the OST is obsolete, or at least in need of amendment. For this SMA Contested Space Operations project, ViTTa was used to address 23 unclassified questions submitted by the Joint Staff and US Air Force project sponsors. The ViTTa team received written and verbal input from over 111 experts from National Security Space, as well as civil, commercial, legal, think tank, and academic communities working space and space policy. Each Space ViTTa report contains two sections 1 a summary response to the question asked and 2 the full written andor transcribed interview input received from each expert contributor organized alphabetically.

Subject Categories:

  • Astronautics
  • Space Warfare
  • Government and Political Science

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