Law, College of


Date of this Version

Spring 2013


California Western International Law Journal, vol. 43, no. 2 (Spring 2013), pp. 269-341


Copyright © Frans G. von der Dunk. Used by permission.


I. Space Tourism: Where Are We Going and What Is Taking Us There? ... A. Space Tourism as the Newest Kid on the Block ... B. Conducting Sub-Orbital Operations with Aircraft or Space Objects ... C. Manned Sub-Orbital Spaceflight and the Requirement of Proper International Registration

II. Registration: As Aircraft or as Space Object? ... A. International, European, and U.S. Approaches to Regulating Sub-Orbital Spaceflight ... B. Applying the Registration Convention to Private Commercial Manned Spaceflight ... C. The Core Problem with Application of the Registration Convention to Sub-Orbital Flights

III. Back to Semantics: The Definitions of Beyond, Earth Orbit, and Sub(-Orbital) ... A. The Meanings of Beyond and Earth Orbit as Employed by the Registration Convention ... B. The Meanings of Sub and Sub-orbital Flight ... C. Conclusion: Confusion?

IV. Context, Object, and Purpose of the Registration Convention ... A. The Context within Which the Registration Convention Arose ... B. The Main Objective and Purposes of the Registration Convention

V. The Practice in Implementing the Registration Convention ... A. United States Practice ... B. The Practice of Other States with a National Space Law ... C. Preliminary Conclusions Regarding Implementation Practice

VI. Preparatory Works and Circumstances Surrounding Conclusion of the Convention ... A. The Travaux Préparatoires of the Registration Convention ... B. The French and Canadian Drafts: “into Space” ... C. The U.S. Draft: “into Earth Orbit or Beyond” ... D. Preliminary Conclusions Regarding the Preparatory Works

VII. Taking Stock: The Remaining Conundrums ... A. The Proper Definition of Sub-Orbital Objects (and Flights) ... B. The Proper Interpretation of “into Earth Orbit or Beyond” ... C. Conclusion: The Proper Scope of the Registration Convention

VIII. Revisiting an Old Acquaintance: The Issue of Delimitation of Outer Space ... A. Relating “into Earth Orbit or Beyond” to “in Outer Space” ... B. Defining “Earth Orbit or Beyond” as a “Precise” Geographic Concept ... C. Convergence on 100 Kilometers as the Lower Boundary for Applying the Registration Convention

IX. Applying the Registration Convention to Manned Suborbital Spaceflight ... A. The Difference between Private Manned Commercial and Other Sub-Orbital Spaceflight ... B. Towards a Proper “Space Traffic Management” System under the Registration Convention ... C. The U.S. Example of Handling Private Commercial Sub-Orbital Spaceflights

X. Concluding Remarks