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Volume3
MonthApril
Year2012
TitleSpace Commercialization: The Need to Immediately Renegotiate Treaties Implicating International Environmental Law
Author(s)Alexander G. Davis
Start Page363
AbstractOuter space is truly the final frontier for both scientific exploration and frontier-style commercialization. Given its extra-national nature, international treaties have formed the basis of ?space law,? but these treaties predate any notion of the true potential for space commercialization. The private sector has relied on this regulation-free industry when developing its spacecraft, mission structure, and operating procedures, often to the detriment of Earth?s and it?s surrounding environment, with space debris, i.e. ?space junk? or ?space trash,? and greenhouse gas emissions being the primary externalities. This Comment provides a background on the commercial space industry and applicable law and treaties, the shortcomings of those bodies of law, and then proposes changes in order to proactively ensure that space commercialization does not increase at such a rate that ex post legislation and treaty ratification is rendered impossible by private sector interests.