President’s Message/Message du Président 8 Spring / Printemps 2018 Lift Off Off II. Some states are challenging whether “the free exploration and use of outer space and celestial bodies” as described in Article I ac- counts for taking non-renewable resources. To that extent, Christopher Johnson, Space Law Advisor at the Secure World Founda- tion, reminds readers that “the use of re- sources exists along a spectrum, and some- where in the middle there is something that is politically justifiable.” This may involve new legislation agreeing on whether nations can take all or only a portion of the resour- ces, different rules depending on the materi- als extracted, and potential differentiation based on whether those are used in space or brought back to Earth. For many years, space has endured the tragedy of the commons problem, in which nations benefit from a large number of satellite missions, but no one spent the resources to clean up the mess from pieces of launch vehicles and decommissioned spacecraft left behind. Despite being in low- Earth-orbit, many of these objects will take decades before they re-enter and, hopefully, burn up in the atmosphere. These pieces of space debris increase the risk of collisions with human or spacecraft missions like the 2009 case between Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 spacecraft. The “law of salvage” exists in maritime law to reward individuals who recover old ship- wrecks by allowing them to keep the find- ings as a reward. This concept encourages many diving expeditions looking for treas- ures. Yet, actors would need permission from the owners of spacecraft relics be- cause registering states retain jurisdiction even if objects are no longer operational. As Masson-Zwaan reminds us, this is for “reasons of not wishing to disclose sensitive technology and national security interests.” Furthermore, she added that non-profit or- ganizations, like École polytechnique fé- dérale de Lausanne (EPFL), are investing in technologies to clean up their own state’s space junk because they “have an interest in keeping the use of space sustainable.” For an extrinsic motivator, Kendall speculates that as the technology matures, “states that own objects in space, especially those that have a high risk of potentially causing dam- age as defined under the OST, might want to consider the financial trade-off between remediating their objects and being sued for damages that the object might cause.” Simi- lar statements can be made about OOS and the liability legal challenges ahead. It is hard to believe the authors of the OST were able to differentiate between sci- ence fiction and achievable technological developments that needed to be formally addressed through legislation. The principles from the treaty laid the foundation that en- abled exploration, commercial applications, and fomented collaborations. However, as Dr. David Kendall, Chair of UNCOPUOS in 2016-17 points out, “space is changing rapid- ly with new actors, especially with respect to the commercial sector, and new technologies that are disrupting the status quo.” Some of the technologies currently being discussed within the international law community are mining resources and Active Debris Re- moval and On-Orbit Servicing (ADR/OOS). by Dario Schor s noted in my last column, the 1967 Outer Space Treaty (OST) is justifi- ably called the Magna Carta of Space Law. Since its signing 50 years ago, its vision—to promote the peaceful and collaborative uses of outer space for all humankind—has been and remains the guiding principle for the use of space in the present and future. It sets out important principles for space exploration and use, prohibits national appropriation of space territory and resources, and prevents national ownership of both. Three articles referring to nations’ responsibilities for space assets limit the options of private enterprises to profit from space activity. In this column, I discuss profiting from space resources and explore the more immediate concerns of re- moval of active space debris and on-orbit servicing. As we project what the next 50 years will look like, most believe the OST will continue to provide a strong legal founda- tion, and new international agreements will emerge to respond to technological and com- mercial developments. Ad adstra, Dario Schor; The plans to extract resources from celes- tial bodies vary in scope and use. At the extreme, there are some people interested in capturing asteroids rich in rare Earth metals, bringing them to a lunar orbit, and mining the resources to use on Earth. This is a high-risk-high-reward scenario that has the greatest potential to impact the mining industry; still, despite efforts from compan- ies like Planetary Resources or Deep Space Industries, it is far from becoming a reality. A more probable manifestation of this tech- nology is for In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) for sustained habitation on another celestial body. An example would be the Moon Village concept from the European Space Agency where lunar regolith is used to protect habitats from radiation. In anticipation of missions that will util- ize resources, and encouraged by econom- ic investments from industry, the govern- ment of the US introduced the 2015 Com- mercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act. In short, this legislation encourages the use of space resources for commercial applica- tions in accordance with international law, and, as expected, provoked mixed reactions from other nations. As the President Emerita of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL), Tanja Masson-Zwaan, suggested, “some states are quite vocal in condemning these laws as being contrary to the OST, while others recognize them as being neces- sary to provide legal certainty to industries who plan to invest.” And, the arguments go beyond issues of appropriation from Article ...the Outer Space Treaty is a remarkable document that guides humankind’s exploration of outer space. A