Space Law

Clients Rate Lawyers on our Platform 4.9/5 Stars
based on 5,717 reviews

Jump to Section

Need help with a Power of Attorney?

Create a free project posting

Space law is a fundamental branch of international law that oversees activities happening in outer space. This regulation has been developed in response to the quick development of the human movement in space, which has led to contemporary regulatory and legal challenges. Moreover, as the commercialization of space has evolved in the past few years, space law has become increasingly significant for businesses, governments, and people who wish to work in space.

This blog post will explore the essential elements of space law, including its current state, origins, and implementation challenges. It will also discuss some critical issues in space law, such as the allocation of space resources and the regulation of space debris.

What is Space Law?

Space law is a fairly unexplored field of law that controls activities in outer space. It is a complicated and ever-evolving area of law that includes a wide range of matters, including international cooperation in space exploration, the use of satellites, and the legal importance of space exploration. Originally, it arose as a subset of public transnational law, consisting principally of covenant and soft law mechanisms that control the conduct of state players.

Over time, space law has developed to contain an expansive range of topics, including exploring and exploiting space resources, using space for scientific research, and protecting the environment in space.

Furthermore, in recent years, there has been a revived emphasis on the evolution of space law. In 2020, the UNOOSA, United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, launched the Space Law and Policy Initiative, which strives to contemporize current space law and create new legal mechanisms to address the challenges posed by the rising commercialization of space activities. The initiative also aims to facilitate the peaceful use of space and guarantee that space activities are performed sustainably and safely.

Origin of Space Law

The primary significant international covenant on space law was the Outer Space Treaty of 1967, executed by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union. This treaty specified the fundamental regulations of space law, including the concept of outer space as a universal commons, the commitment to explore space for the advantage of all mankind and the ban on the placement of nuclear weapons in orbit. Since then, numerous other treaties and deals have been signed, including the Liability Convention of 1972, the Rescue Agreement of 1968, and the Registration Convention of 1975.

Meet some lawyers on our platform

Stacey D.

23 projects on CC
View Profile

Michael S.

2 projects on CC
View Profile

Jane C.

124 projects on CC
View Profile

Domonick G.

5 projects on CC
View Profile

Present State of Space Law

The legal framework overseeing movements in outer space is complicated and evolving. Moreover, at its core, space law is based on the regulations specified in the Outer Space Treaty, which sets out multiple key principles for managing activities in space. These comprise the principle of non-appropriation, which expresses that no state in the United States can claim authority over any portion of outer space.

The regulation of peaceful use, which restricts the use of force in outer space, and the regulation of collaboration facilitate global association in exploring and using outer space. Also, in the past few years, there has been a rising recognition of the necessity to modernize and update the legal framework overseeing space activities.

The growing commercialization has driven it with private institutions and people seeking to research and exploit resources in space. Therefore, there have been calls for a new global treaty on space resources, specifying rules for extracting and using resources such as water and minerals on the Moon and other celestial bodies.

Key Challenges with Space Law

Notwithstanding the progress in creating the legal framework for space activities, many challenges remain. One of the most crucial of these is the problem of space debris. As more and more objects are ventured into space, the quantity of debris in trajectory around the Earth has risen, posing a considerable threat to satellites and space missions. Nevertheless, there are presently no thorough international regulations controlling the disposal of space remains, although there have been some efforts to specify best practices for mitigating space debris.

And another challenge facing space law is the matter of intellectual property rights. As private businesses begin to exploit and explore resources in space, there are problems that the current legal framework may not deliver sufficient security for intellectual property rights in space. It has led to calls for enacting new regulations and rules governing intellectual property rights in space, including setting a system for registering trademarks and patents for space-related technologies.

Allocation of Space Resources

One of the most controversial subjects in space law is distributing space resources. And as the commercialization of space has increased exponentially, there has been a rising interest in the resources discovered on the Moon and other celestial bodies, including water and minerals. Nevertheless, the current legal framework for space movements does not provide unambiguous directions for extracting and utilizing these resources. Hence in 2015, the United States of America enacted the Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, which specified a legal framework for private businesses' extraction and usage of space resources.

Furthermore, with restricted space available on planets and in trajectory, deciding who can use specific areas and for what purposes will be crucial. It may concern making regulations around the size and place of settlements and the types of movements that can be carried out in specific locations. For instance, places near scientific research zones may be off-limits for commercial exercises to stop interference with ongoing investigations.

Another essential resource that will need to be distributed in space is energy. As humankind continues to grow its presence in space, there will be a rising need for fuel to power spacecraft, habitats, and other infrastructure. Solar power is presumably a prominent energy source in space, but other technologies, such as fuel cells and nuclear power, may also play a part. Thus, it will be necessary to specify regulations around using different power sources to ensure they are used efficiently and safely.

Key Terms

  • Outer Space: the space beyond the Earth's atmosphere, where man-made objects and celestial bodies orbit.
  • International Treaties: Contracts between countries that control space activities and set out regulations for exploring and utilizing outer space.
  • Space Debris: Man-made objects in space that are no longer working, posing a threat to active satellites and other space vehicles.
  • Space Resources: Materials found in outer space, such as water and minerals that may be used commercially.
  • Liability: The statutory obligation for harms caused by space actions, which may concern repayment for loss or injury.
  • Satellite Communication: Utilizing orbiting satellites to send and obtain messages, data, and other details.


To summarize, space law is a fast-evolving domain that controls human movements in outer space. It contains different legal authorities, including national regulations, global accords, and industry norms. In addition, some key matters addressed by space law comprise the use of space debris management, space resources, liability for damages caused by space activities, and the regulation of remote sensing and satellite communication. As space activities grow, space law will become even more crucial in guaranteeing outer space's sustainable, safe, and peaceful use.

If you are looking to get free pricing proposals from vetted lawyers that are 60% less than typical law firms, you can Click here to get started. By comparing multiple proposals for free, you can save the time and stress of finding a quality lawyer for your business needs.

Need help with a
Power of Attorney?

Create a free project posting

Meet some of our Lawyers

Bruce B. on ContractsCounsel
View Bruce
5.0 (13)
Member Since:
January 11, 2022

Bruce B.

Managing Attorney
Free Consultation
Tampa, FL
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in FL
University of South Carolina

Bruce Burk practice is in the area of small business, labor and employment, contracts, real estate and civil litigation. Bruce has litigated over 40 trials as well as many appeals. He prioritizes client communication and satisfaction as well as delivering high quality work product.

Cory B. on ContractsCounsel
View Cory
5.0 (1)
Member Since:
November 29, 2021

Cory B.

Free Consultation
Bellaire, OH
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in OH
Duquesne University School of Law

Attorney Cory Barack specializes in business, real estate, probate, and energy law. He can help you with oil/gas leases, easements, property sales, drafting contracts and wills, setting up companies, and resolving disputes. He is licensed to practice law in Ohio and is located in Eastern Ohio.

Daehoon P. on ContractsCounsel
View Daehoon
4.7 (83)
Member Since:
November 26, 2021

Daehoon P.

Corporate Lawyer
Free Consultation
New York, NY
8 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY
American University Washington College of Law

Advised startups and established corporations on a wide range of commercial and corporate matters, including VC funding, technology law, and M&A. Commercial and Corporate Matters • Advised companies on commercial and corporate matters and drafted corporate documents and commercial agreements—including but not limited to —Convertible Note, SAFE, Promissory Note, Terms and Conditions, SaaS Agreement, Employment Agreement, Contractor Agreement, Joint Venture Agreement, Stock Purchase Agreement, Asset Purchase Agreement, Shareholders Agreement, Partnership Agreement, Franchise Agreement, License Agreement, and Financing Agreement. • Drafted and revised internal regulations of joint venture companies (board of directors, employment, office organization, discretional duty, internal control, accounting, fund management, etc.) • Advised JVs on corporate structuring and other legal matters • Advised startups on VC funding Employment Matters • Drafted a wide range of employment agreements, including dental associate agreements, physician employment agreements, startup employment agreements, and executive employment agreements. • Advised clients on complex employment law matters and drafted employment agreements, dispute settlement agreements, and severance agreements. General Counsel • As outside general counsel, I advised startups on ICOs, securities law, business licenses, regulatory compliance, and other commercial and corporate matters. • Drafted or analyzed coin or token sale agreements for global ICOs. • Assisted clients with corporate formations, including filing incorporation documents and foreign corporation registrations, drafting operating and partnership agreements, and creating articles of incorporation and bylaws. Dispute Resolution • Conducted legal research, and document review, and drafted pleadings, motions, and other trial documents. • Advised the client on strategic approaches to discovery proceedings and settlement negotiation. • Advised clients on employment dispute settlements.

Abraham W. on ContractsCounsel
View Abraham
Member Since:
November 18, 2021

Abraham W.

Free Consultation
Nashville, TN
4 Yrs Experience
Licensed in NY, TN
Harvard Law School

Abraham's practice focuses on counseling emerging group companies in the technology and other commercial agreements, and assisting equity financings (specifically venture capital).

Dave Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Dave
Member Since:
November 22, 2021

Dave Y.

Free Consultation
Colorado Springs
2 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
University of Denver

I am available for data privacy and cybersecurity projects. I am CIPP/US certified through the IAPP. I have also taken coursework focused on the GDPR through the London School of Economics. In my past career I was an intelligence officer. I am well acquainted with information security best practices and I have experience developing and implementing administrative controls for classified information and PII. I have worked extensively overseas and I am comfortable integrating with remote teams. Feel free to reach out any time if you have any additional questions on my areas of expertise or professional background.

Peter W. Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Peter W.
Member Since:
January 24, 2022

Peter W. Y.

Free Consultation
24 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CT, NY, PA
Haub School of Law at Pace University

Perceptive, solution-driven counselor and experienced attorney. Record of successful verdicts, settlements, negotiations, arbitrations, mediations, and deals. Effective claims management, litigation strategy, and risk consulting. Proven ability to oversee litigation teams, communicate to stakeholders, manage multiple projects effectively, and expand business relationships. Extensive experience handling legal issues in engineering and construction, environmental litigation, corporate and contractual, and insurance issues.

Cameron S. on ContractsCounsel
View Cameron
Member Since:
January 24, 2022

Cameron S.

Free Consultation
San Francisco
28 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CA
University of San Francisco

A commercial contracts lawyer with over 25 years of experience (both at large law firms and in-house as general counsel of a public company)

Brittany B. on ContractsCounsel
View Brittany
Member Since:
December 4, 2021

Brittany B.

Free Consultation
Ann Arbor, MI
9 Yrs Experience
Licensed in MI
Wayne State University Law School

Brittany advises startups and emerging and public companies at all stages of growth, with focuses on formation and corporate governance matters, securities, venture capital financings, M&A and other strategic transactions, commercial contracts and general corporate counseling. Brittany represents clients across a broad spectrum of industries, including technology, automotive, mobility, digital health, consumer products and manufacturing.

James A. on ContractsCounsel
View James
Member Since:
December 5, 2021

James A.

Free Consultation
Birmingham, AL
6 Yrs Experience
Licensed in AL
Birmingham School of Law

James Allen is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. Mr. Allen has a considerable amount of experience in the areas of domestic relations, criminal law, family law, and general civil litigation.

Emily Y. on ContractsCounsel
View Emily
Member Since:
December 6, 2021

Emily Y.

Free Consultation
Colorado Springs, Colorado
7 Yrs Experience
Licensed in CO
University of Colorado

I am available to advise on entity formation, contracts, and employment policies. I am also comfortable litigating business disputes including partnership disputes and employment cases. Prior to opening my current practice, I worked for several years in a small civil litigation practice focused on employment matters and civil litigation. I attended law school at the University of Colorado, and I went to the University of British Columbia for my undergraduate education.

Find the best lawyer for your project

Browse Lawyers Now

Want to speak to someone?

Get in touch below and we will schedule a time to connect!

Request a call

Find lawyers and attorneys by city