Happy Holidays: Some End of Year Thoughts
2017 has been an interesting and exciting year in the world of space law and policy. It was, of course, the 50th anniversary of the Outer Space Treaty so there was quite a lot of focus on that this year. But space law has seemed to become, if not ‘mainstream’ then certainly more prominent this year, featuring in several major news outlets (New York Time and BBC spring to mind) not as in the past as something of a curiosity but as something that needs to and should be taken seriously.
As for space law itself, there has been the development of Luxembourg’s space mining law which now means there are two states who have thrown their weight behind the embryonic space mining industry, and The Hague Space Resources Governance Working Group has completed the first phase of their work and published their draft building blocks (and comments are still open until July.) Furthermore New Zealand has enacted their new national space law which came into force yesterday, and in the UK the Space Industry Bill has passed the Lords and is awaiting its second reading in the House of Commons.
2018 also promises to be an interesting year. It is the 50th anniversary of the Rescue Agreement, the second space law treaty who’s role and relevance in the age of commercial human spaceflight needs to be discussed. Also in June the UN will hold their UNISPACE+50 Conference which will set the agenda for COPUOS for the next decade or so. And there will be more discussion of space mining I am sure. For me personally 2018 also should prove to be an important year as hopefully I will be winding up my PhD next year (though that still seems like quite a task at this juncture…)
As for the blog, it has been a useful way of expressing my thoughts, writing these posts has helped clarify things for me and I hope you’ve found them useful and interesting. Having checked the stats I see that over 1000 people have read my posts over the course of the year which is amazing in and of itself but when I think about the niche nature of my subject it is just completely fantastic. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday whichever event you may be celebrating (or just enjoy a few days off) and see you back in the New Year!