International Space Law: A New Frontier of Risk

17 January 2020
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Key takeaways:
  • Increased activity in the global space industry, including more launches of satellites by a larger number of operators, has both reflected and attracted substantial new investment. The increased volume of launches also brings increased risks of damage.
  • The opportunity for profit in the new space race will be shaped by the industry’s ability to manage these risks. Neither the insurance market nor the current international legal regime provide sufficient protection or certainty for investors in privately launched satellites. The nature of the industry and the absence of national boundaries also limit the utility of national laws.
  • Cooperation among states will be required to develop new international rules governing responsibility for incidents during launch and in orbit. Investors will want to monitor developments in national and international law which attempt to bring clarity and greater certainty to the industry.