Peering Through the Celestial Looking-Glass: The Legal State of Play for Working in Space

Vol. 13 No. 2

By

Christopher M. Hearsey (chearsey@bigelowaerospace.com) is the Director of Legislative Affairs and Ryan T. Noble (rnoble@bigelowaerospace.com) handles business development and government outreach for Bigelow Aerospace, LLC. This article contains only the personal views of the authors.

Do you want to work on a space station, on Mars, or possibly on an asteroid? Yeah, that would be pretty cool. But whether you aspire to be an artist, a scientist, or an engineer, if you want to work in space someday, then you should know that some national laws and regulations will follow you there. If you want to work in an environment inches away from a vacuum or an unforgiving planetary body, then there will be some standards and practices that will follow you just as closely as your radiation counter.1 Some of these rules will be legally mandated and others will arise voluntarily. The types and levels of regulation will vary, but safety will be the cornerstone of rules that will govern one’s daily life in space. So what types of rules are we talking about?

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