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Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology
The Next, Small, Step For Mankind: Fixing the Inadequacies of the International Space Law Treaty Regime to Accommodate the Modern Space Flight Industry
19.0000000000000 ALB. L.J. SCI. & TECH. 1 (2009)
Since man’s first foray into space flight in 1958, the world has greatly changed. Early space law treaties were created for a world where nations looked to travel to the moon and beyond, two hostile superpowers gave rise to the danger of a weaponized outer space, and space travel was too expensive for anyone but the world’s richest governments. This article argues that the current space law treaty regime, negotiated in the late 1960s and early 1970s, is inadequate to handle the challenges of space flight in the next decade. These challenges include commercial space flight and its attendant concerns, space tourism, orbital crowding, and most importantly, the proliferation of dangerous orbital debris. The article then critiques proposed solutions to some of these problems, and suggests a direction for future space law developments.