Who Owns the Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers


When people hear for the first time that I am a lawyer practicing and teaching something called ‘space law,’ the question they ask most frequently, often with a big smile or a twinkle in the eye,

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Who Owns the Moon? A Space Lawyer Answers

The following essay is reprinted with permission from The Conversation, an online publication covering the latest research.

Most likely, this is the best-known picture of a flag ever taken: Buzz Aldrin standing next to the first U.S. flag planted on the Moon. For those who knew their world history, it also rang some alarm bells. Only less than a century ago, back on Earth, planting a national flag in another part of the world still amounted to claiming that territory for the fatherland. Did the Stars and Stripes on the moon signify the establishment of an American colony?

  • Publisher: Scientific American
  • Author: Frans von der Dunk The Conversation US
  • Twitter: @sciam
  • Citation: Web link

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The President’s Mission to Mars Is a Real Long Shot

President Donald Trump receives a flight jacket from’NASA officials during a bill signing ceremony last year. (Alex Wong/Getty Images file photo)

For a man known for grandiose ambitions, perhaps President Donald Trump’s most lofty is his pledge, formalized in a December order, to land a human being on the surface of Mars.

Trump seems serious about getting to Mars. He’s even picked a fight with the Republicans in the House and Senate over where to spend NASA’s resources, proposing this year to phase out funding for the International Space Station, or ISS, by 2025 and redirect it toward a return trip to the moon and to deep space exploration. On the moon, Trump told the space council last month, “We will establish a long-term presence, expand our economy and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars, which is actually going to happen very quickly.”

  • Publisher: Roll Call
  • Date: 2018-07-13T09:05:12Z
  • Author: Shawn Zeller
  • Twitter: @rollcall
  • Citation: Web link

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NASA chief backs ‘space guard,’ ponders ‘rethink’ of SLS

NEW SPACE LAWS ON THE LAUNCHPAD. A pair of space bills passed the House this week: One sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey of Florida ‘provides a fair, open, and accessible process for Department of Transportation licenses and experimental permits for commercial space support vehicles.’ Another, introduced by Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, takes the more modest step of designating NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., as ‘the lead center for rocket propulsion.’

  • Publisher: POLITICO
  • Twitter: @politico
  • Citation: Web link

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More Than a Century Ago, Astronomer Phoebe Waterman Defied Her Doubters

Phoebe Waterman Haas was among the first American women to earn a Ph.D. in astronomy. Her doctoral thesis confirmed the usefulness of classifying stars by their spectra, or colors, and upon graduation from the University of California at Berkeley in 1913, she was hoping to embark on a career as an astronomer. But later that year, she was forced to make a choice.
Phoebe Waterman was born in 1882 into a family that valued learning. Her father, John Charles Waterman, was a colonel in the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Regiment, fighting in the battles of Little Bighorn (also known as Custer’s Last Stand) and at Wounded Knee

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  • Publisher: Air & Space Magazine
  • Author: Melissa Joskow
  • Twitter: @airspacemag
  • Citation: Web link

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