Centre for Internet & Society

Arindrajit Basu's research was quoted in the journal article authored by Abigail D. Pershing and published by Yale Journal of International Law.

Origin wants to take tourists to space by April 2019. The European Space Agency points to the possibilities of mining Helium-3 on the moon to providecleaner energy here on Earth. Space tourism, exploration, and exploitation are very real possibilities in the near future—at least technologically. Legally,however, the way forward is less clear.

Under the 1967 Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (commonly known as the Outer Space Treaty), no State has the right to claim as sovereign territory the moon or any other celestial body. Some critics see the Outer Space Treaty as merely an outdated relic from the Cold War era, but there are good reasons for maintaining the fundamental principles under girding the law in its current form. If the Treaty were repealed or interpreted to allow a free-for-all, first-come, first-served method of allocating space property rights (as some have suggested either should, or will, happen), this would likely produce an extremely chaotic and unequal allocation of resources. Developing nations that currently lack space capabilities would be at a significant disadvantage relative to States possessing such capabilities, and the ensuing State actions would likely result in an unequal territorial grab leaving few, if any, resources for those nations technologically incapable of space exploration.

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{Footnotes 123, 126 and 132}  Arindrajit Basu, Regulatory Mechanism for the Exploitation of Natural Resources in  Outer  Space  and  Celestial  Bodies, in SPACE LAW:THE EMERGING TRENDS (Sandeepa Bhat eds, 2017)

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