Law, College of


Date of this Version



Published in: Proceedings of the Twenty-Seventh Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, International Institute of Space Law of the International Astronautical Federation, Lausanne, Switzerland, October 7–13, 1984 Published by American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics New York, 1985.


The paper describes the manner in which the United States is meeting its responsibilities under international law and treaty, including the Outer Space Treaty and the International Liability Convention, for national activities in outer space undertaken by means of launch vehicles or payloads launched from U.S. territory or facilities by private commercial enterprises organized or existing under the laws of the United States.

The paper refers to the international legal framework under which the Government of the United states is organizing to discharge its legal responsibility for such activities, and describes the basis in U.S. municipal law for the actions the Government has taken to satisfy its actual or potential obligations (in unsettled areas of law) and to protect U.S. national interests. The paper also reports on the experience of the united States Department of Transportation, the "lead agency" within the Federal Government for licensing launch ranges as well as launches of private commercial launch vehicles and payloads, in managing the regulatory issues presented by the advent of commercial space transportation.