LET'S FLY HIGH WITH A SPACE SHUTTLE: THE LEGAL ASPECTS OF SPACE TOURISM

AUTHORS:

Simmi, MM(DU), Mullana

Ramya, Alliance University, Bengaluru

Co-Authored and Edited By: Tanya Kanchan Soni, HNLU Raipur



Introduction:

The ‘space tourism,’ or ‘private spaceflight,’ requires the law of outer space to change and adapt to this revolutionary development, as deriving precisely from the principled private participation in these activities. "Space tourism" is often hailed as the origin of a revolution in the accessibility of humans to the hostile and, in principle, the infinite realm from outer space Inevitably, this is already leading to and will continue to fuel further, fundamental debates about the law of outer space as it stands today, and how it should change to accommodate such revolutionary developments. It could well augur in a third was in the history of humanity's efforts in outer space. The private company was limited to a role as a manufacturer in the service of these public entities, as an intermediate customer of space-based applications made by them, or affiliate provider services for your benefit. Consequently, the five major UN space treaties concluded in the late 1960s and 1970s were deemed appropriate in their approach to the rights and obligations of these state agencies.

History:

During 1960, space exploration was controlled by government-run agencies. Two governments had control over this U.S and the Soviet Union. Resident Richard Nixon announced Space Shuttle as a new epoch of spaceflight. The two powers competed in the 1960s and 1970s. which is known as Space Race, to test their abilities and intelligence. In late 1961, the Soviet Union placed the first artificial satellite sputnik one into orbit igniting the space race between the U.S and Soviet Union. Forty years after the month of Yuri, Dennis Tito who was a businessman and the independent researcher was the first space tourist.

In 2004, the U.S government legalized the privatization of space tourism. 6 months before the complete privation of bill passed George W. Bush signed the 2004 bill into the law, officially. First, privately launched spacecraft left the Earth’s orbit funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen to some extent, but the first famous big companies came in 2011 after NASA 30 days program finished.

Later on, the Obama administration decided to cancel the program and gave more funding to private companies as beneficial looking for making spaceships. After that in 2012, SpaceX sent the first commercially built vehicle to carry cargo to the ISS. Virgin Galactic had a set back of 2 years because of an accident where a pilot died during a failed test flight of one of its spaceships left the tourism industry in doubt highlighted risk.

History of the First Traveller to make a space tour

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin took flight in a capsule-like spacecraft called Vostok 1 which was adapted from a Soviet intercontinental ballistic missile the r7 Senora. Beginning his flight at the Baikonur cosmodromes in southern Kazakhstan Gagarin reached a maximum height of 203 miles. Vostok 1 had no engines to slow it for reentry so Gagarin successfully landed by ejecting and parachuting back to earth.

Who made the first space tour from India?

Rakesh Sharma was the first Indian to travel in space. He was a part of ISRO and the Soviet intercoms space program and apparently, he was selected to become a cosmonaut. He flew aboard the Soyuz T-11 on April 2, 1984, and spent 7 days 21 hr. And 40 min in space. Because of him, India became the 14th nation to send a man to outer space. He was awarded as Hero of Soviet Union and with Ashoka Chakra.

Let’s Fly High…with a SPACE SHUTTLE

Did we ever think of going to space, but how? This is when NASA came into frame. In the year 1981, the first reusable low earth orbital spacecraft, Space Transportation System popularly called the Space Shuttle was manufactured. Four orbital flights led to numerous discoveries and scientific experiments. Till now NASA has successfully built five complete Space Shuttle orbiter vehicles naming Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour which flew a total of 135 missions starting from 1981 to 2011. Not only this, but the space shuttle is also known for its repeated service to Hubble Telescope.

Major activities:

Bringing up civilians to manage experiments, and deploying satellites – both civilian and military.

Testing of daring equipment such as the Manned Maneuvering Unit, a sort of jet backpack, picking up satellites for repair.

Bringing up astronauts, pieces and equipment to build the International Space Station

The shuttle including the Columbian disaster held many more. This made the scientists release the shuttle off to retirement.

NASA

Formed on July 29, 1958, National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the government of the United States for the civilian space program, aeronautics and space research. Since its formation of 61 years, this agency has exceptionally led the way for the world to have a perception of space. From a trail of researches, discoveries, explorations, and missions the agency peacefully succeeded in implementing the theories of space science.

It is very difficult to count the achievement it has given to the world but to list a few would be X-15, Project Mercury, Project Gemini, Apollo Programme, Space Shuttle, International Space Station, Commercial Program, Constellation Program, and the Artemis Program.

NASA's strategic goals have been

Extend and sustain human activities across the solar system

Expand scientific understanding of the Earth and the universe

Create innovative new space technologies

Advance aeronautics research

Enable program and institutional capabilities to conduct NASA's aeronautics and space activities

Share NASA with the public, educators, and students to provide opportunities to participate.

SpaceX

Founded in 2002, Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. is the first privately funded corporation for carrying space missions. The main goal behind its establishment was to reduce the cost of space transportation to enable the colonization of Mars. Its major achievement includes the development of Falcon series, Starlink Satellite Constellation, Dragon spacecraft, etc. In 2017, SpaceX formed a subsidiary The Boring Company to connect to the shortest way to the SpaceX headquarters.

With great achievements come great responsibilities. The company at various times was held into controversies. In 2013the the Dragon spacecraft lost control. In 2015 Falcon 9 got exploded in its second stage, in 2019 the company announced that it lost contact with three of the sixty satellites of Starlink mega constellation.

Nevertheless, this private giant through years gained full fame and support of the world and is highly expected to change the trends of space tourism to provide a more adventurous and affordable future in the way.

LEGAL ASPECTS:

Contracts and space activities organized by private persons have an immediate effect on third parties as a result of international treaties and agreements that govern outer space activities. On the state of the tourist, the Agreement on the rescue of astronauts, the return of astronauts, and the return of objects launched into outer space (1968) is important. Liability for damage caused by space activities by private entities will affect the States of the nationality of private entities and the launching State.

The Treaty on the Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (1967) and the Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return Of the objects launched into outer space (1968), both create obligations for states to rescue astronauts of all origins on Earth, in the sea or outer space. Article V of the Outer Space Treaty states that "the States Parties to the Treaty shall consider astronauts as humanity's envoys in outer space and shall render them all possible assistance in the event of an accident, distress or emergency landing in the territory of another State.

Article 2 of the Rescue Agreement states that "if due to an accident, distress, emergency or involuntary landing, the personnel of a spacecraft lands in territory under the jurisdiction of a Contracting Party, it shall immediately take all possible measures to rescue them and render all necessary assistance and they Will inform the launching authority and also the United Nations Secretary-General of the steps it is taking and its progress.

Article VI of the Treaty on the principles governing the activities of States in the exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, establishes that "the States Parties to the Treaty shall be internationally responsible for national activities in the outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether such activities are carried out by government agencies or non-governmental entities, and to ensure that national activities are carried out following the provisions outlined in this Treaty.

However, if an accident and damage occur before entry into outer space, it seems quite plausible to use the CONVENTION ON DAMAGE CAUSED BY FOREIGN AIRCRAFT TO THIRD PARTIES ON THE SURFACE SIGNED AT ROME ON OCTOBER 7, 1952. However, this convention has only been ratified by forty-nine States and most space powers (the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Germany, India or China) have not yet signed or ratified this Convention



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