The Law of Outer Space has been written in bold strokes and then interpreted and decided upon in numerous forums and locals. Initially, it developed in a time of revolutionary technological changes; then, as these innovations became more evolutionary, the laws became more discrete and focused. The reason for new treaty law was at first critical-the fear of war and the crucial need for international cooperation and detente during the Cold War. The response was timely and universal. Then, over time, the decision-making arenas became global and were not entirely restricted to traditional state-to-state negotiations. In short, revolutionary times challenged mankind to produce revolutionary advances in the law. Now, we live in quieter times, with most worrying being due to the threat of an arms race in space (which may or may not require new treaty law depending on one's vantage point), and consequently, much law evolves incrementally by less formal arrangements.
Jonathan F. Galloway,
Revolution and Evolution in the Law of Outer Space,
87 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol87/iss2/6