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A European Legal Regime for Commercial Utilisation of the International Space Station?

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Chapter Summary

Projects to establish space stations, manned facilities to orbit the earth for longer periods at an altitude of several hundreds of kilometres, were often hailed as the 'next step' of mankind into outer space. Now, with the International Space Station (ISS), in a spirit of innovative cooperation, 15 States, including 11 members of the European Space Agency (ESA) are engaged in a joint international project to realise this next step in the exploration of outer space. Questions of jurisdiction and control of activities of States with regard to the ISS are complicated by the stated aim of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that the ISS should enhance the commercial use of the outer space. In particular, the European Partner States have shown a great interest of involving commercial partners in their activities, and indeed some first activities of this kind have been undertaken.

Keywords: commercial objectives; European Space Agency (ESA); Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA); International Space Station (ISS); outer space



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