Why do we need an urgent Space Treaty update?…
UN fears imminent weaponization of space
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY (Resolution, Dec 2016): The General Assembly, “Seriously concerned about the possibility of an arms race in outer space”
Many nations anticipate the weaponization of space
CHINA (at UN COPUOS 2016): “the risk of weaponization of outer space and military confrontations in outer space is on the increase with it ….. posing a potential major threat to peace and security in outer space”
Aggressive competition in space exploitation
BIGELOW: “If we don’t get there first, they (China) will!” ….. US Senator Ted Cruz, Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness: “America must expand commerce and ultimately settlement into space; and we must do it first.”…. “The world is much safer with America as the global leader of this planet; and the world will similarly be safer and stronger if the United States and our ideals of free enterprise and free speech are the driving force of commerce and settlement throughout the galaxy”
Several nations very unhappy with the US Space Act
RUSSIA (at UN COPUOS 2016): “The United States vividly demonstrated a connection between diminishing the Committee’s role and powers, on the one hand, and manifestations of total disrespect for international law order, on the other, by adopting the commercial space launch competitiveness act on 25 November 2015”
US "commerce" is very happy with the US Space Act
Eric Anderson, Co-Founder and Co-Chairman, Planetary Resources: “This is the single greatest recognition of property rights in history.” …….. Bigelow : “The time has come to get serious about lunar property rights” ……. So what do we at MARS REGISTER think about it?…. well, we think the United States “Space Act 2015” is mostly a GOOD THING but it does hurt the 50 year old Outer Space Treaty. So the US needs to show strong responsible leadership and encourage the UN (COPUOS) to work hard to update the Outer Space Treaty. This will prove VERY important.
Space debris levels at "critical"
ESA statement 2017: “All these studies are a clear indicator that the population of large and massive objects has reached a critical density in LEO, and that mitigation alone is not sufficient”.
The likely future without Space Treaty update:
A BIG RISK OF DISASTER FROM SPACE DEBRIS, UNCONTROLLED APPROPRIATION/MINING RIGHTS AND CONFLICT (WITH NUKES AVAILABLE)….. The US Space ACT (2015), whilst “necessary”, does infringe upon the non appropriation principle and the OST. What will happen if the US Space ACT is passively accepted by other space nations without any OST updates to accommodate it? …. well, over the next 20+ years, 3-5 main space faring nations will compete aggressively for mining rights on celestial land. Other nations will be left behind. The US will be the clear leader. Pedis possessio will be used to mark out the wide areas of celestial mining claims. The OST becomes less relevant as space faring nations continue to develop their own laws. Nuclear weaponization (and other WMDs) becomes a fact in space. Space debris is largely uncontrolled and progressively dangerous. The opportunity for conflict, with nuclear capabilities available, becomes very real.
The future WITH an appropriate Space Treaty update:
[Including a light-touch, space exploitation governing body]…Within the ‘improved’ treaty, there will be an up to date, fit for purpose legal framework that accommodates space exploitation and offers market friendly governance, whilst still protecting wider celestial lands for all ‘humanity’. Weaponisation remains very restricted, space debris management is universally agreed and acceptable appropriation (if indeed this can be so) is limited by the treaty. US space companies will lead the way and enjoy great profits, but within a responsible framework. Thus safe, vibrant collaborative space exploration and exploitation can flourish, whilst still preserving some benefit and opportunity for the developing non-space faring nations.
The Mars Land Claim might sting the UN into updating the Space Treaty
The Mars Prize (moot court competition, with a world class space law judging panel) might awaken UN COPUOS to the issue, but we suspect we will need to legally propagate our claim through international court (The PCA stand ready for this) in order to trigger UN action. Thus we require to have a very well constructed legal claim. We have! … so there is a real possibility that we actually gain title registration to land on Mars (under UN trusteeship)!!