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The Quest for On-orbit Authority

The Quest for On-orbit Authority

The growing use of commercial cargo spacecraft, like Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus (above), and plans for future commercial crew vehicles, have led the FAA to argue for the need for “on-orbit authority” to regulate their safety, particularly regarding orbital debris mitigation.  (credit: NASA)
The growing use of commercial cargo spacecraft, like Orbital Sciences Corporation’s Cygnus (above), and plans for future commercial crew vehicles, have led the FAA to argue for the need for “on-orbit authority” to regulate their safety, particularly regarding orbital debris mitigation.  (credit: NASA)

A long-running popular topic in some parts of the space community, particularly the more entrepreneurial elements of it, has been the issue of space property rights. Companies planning ventures to the Moon, asteroids, and elsewhere in the solar system wonder if they will be able to lay claim to, and make use of, resources on these bodies, given that the Outer Space Treaty prevents countries from making claims of sovereignty on celestial bodies. 

See more at:  Main Story

May 23, 2014


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