International Relations


  • Go to (Links to an external site.) and read the 1979 Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies
  • Using materials from the links on the UN Office for Outer Space Affairs website,
  • the Journal of Space Law (e.g.),
    • Fabio Tronchetti, “The Moon Agreement in the 21st Century.” v.36/#2 (Winter 2010)
  •   The Space Review (e.g.),
    • Wes Faires, “The role of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in supporting space property rights.” 8/6/2019
    • Dennis O’Brien, “Beyond UNISPACE: It’s time for the Moon Treaty” 1/24/2019
    • Jeff Foust, “Fear of a Chinese Moon.” 11/4/2011
    • Michael Listner, “The Moon Treaty: failed international law or waiting in the shadows?”  1/11/2012
  • and other resources ( Googling is encouraged), write a 4-7 page, double-spaced essay (footnoted with bibliography) on the following:
    • Summarize the Articles of the Agreement
    • Review who are Parties to the Agreement and what states are missing. Significance?
    • What kinds of “celestial bodies” are included? (e.g., are asteroids ok to claim and exploit in outer space?)
    • Are mining of materials on celestial bodies permitted for fabricating fuels, etc., for further space exploration without compensation to the global community? (i.e., while one cannot lay claim to the Moon or other bodies, can they claim property rights over natural resources?)
    • How will an international regime look as referenced to in Article 11? If one is not established, does this remove Parties from sharing in the results of exploitation? Is the Law of the Sea regime a useful analogy for the creation of a space version?
    • Do the terms “exploration,” “use,” and “exploitation” have different applications depending upon to whom one is referring? (i.e., do all equally apply to both states and other entities [e.g., consortia, private companies]?)
    • While the Registration Convention makes an effort to indicate what information to provide the UN Registry, what are the stipulations in the Moon Treaty and its implications?
    • What is the legal status of manned stations and colonies on the Moon and other celestial bodies?

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