Legal Research on Space Law

Bilateral/Multi-National Agreements Governing Activities in Space

Principles Regarding Processes and Criteria for Selection, Assignment, Training and Certification of International Space Station Crewmembers (November 2001).
Available at:;
Agreement among the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Government of the Russian Federation and the Government of the United States of America on Technology Safeguards associated with the Launch by Russia of U.S. Licensed Spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome (January 26, 1999). Available at:;

The Declaration on International Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for the Benefit and in the Interest of All States, Taking into Particular Account the Needs of Developing Countries (UN General Assembly resolution 51/122 of December 13, 1996). Available at:;
The Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space (resolution 47/68 of December 14, 1992). Available at:;

Memorandum of Agreement on Liability for Satellite Launches Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the People’s Republic of China (December 17, 1988). Available at:;

The Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space (UN General Assembly resolution 41/65 of December 3, 1986). Available at:;
The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (July 11. 1984). Available at:;
The Principles Governing the Use by States of Artificial Earth Satellites for International Direct Television Broadcasting (UN General Assembly resolution 37/92 of December 10, 1982). Available at:

Resolution of the Council of the European Space Agency on the Agency’s Legal Liability [ESA/C/XXII/Res.3] (December 13, 1977). Available at:;

The Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space (September 15, 1976). Available at:;

The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects (September 1, 1972). Available at:;
The Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space (December 3, 1968). Available at:;
Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies (October 10, 1967). Available at:;
The Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space (UN General Assembly resolution 1962 (XVIII) of December 13, 1963). Available at:

US Laws & Regulations

National Space Agency
National Aeronautics and Space Act, (Pub. L. No. 85-568), as amended. Available at:;

National Space Program
United States Code, Title 42 (The Public Health and Welfare), Chapter 26 (National Space Program). Available at:;

Commercial Space Act of 1998 (Oct. 28, 1998) (regulations related to the commercial space industry). Available at:;

Commercial Space Launch Activities Act (49 USC, Subtitle IX, Chapter 701). Available at:;

Communications Satellite Act of 1962. Available at:;

International Maritime Satellite Telecommunications Act. Available at:;

Land Remote Sensing Policy Act. Available at:;

Space Trade and Cooperation [22 USC 5871 et seq.]. Available at:;
Agreement on Federal Interaction with Launch Site Operators. Available at:;

Commercial Space Competitiveness [15 USC Chapter 84]. Available at:;

Space Transportation Infrastructure Matching Grants [49 USC Chapter 703]. Available at:;

Patent Inventions in Outer Space: 35 USC Chapter 10, Sect. 105. Available at:;

Commercial Space Transportation Licensing Regulations [14 CFR Parts 401, 411, 413, 415, and 417] (June 21, 1999). Available at:;

Insurance Conditions [Advisory Circular, Part 440, AC 440-1] (November 3, 1998). Available at:;

National Space Policy Review (June 28, 2002). Available at:;

National Space Transportation Policy (August 1994). Available at:

Law Review Articles (Not Covered in Other Research):

Recent Developments in Aviation and Space Law, 38 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 205, 216 (Winter 2003);
Dan L. Burk, Protection of Trade Secrets in Outer Space Activity: A Study in Federal Preemption, 23 Seton Hall L. Rev. 560, 614-15 (1993);
Brandon E. Ehrhart, A Technological Dream Turned Legal Nightmare: Potential Liability of the United States Under the Federal Tort Claims Act for Operating the Global Positioning System, 33 Vand. J. Transnat'l L. 371 (Mar. 2000).
Case Law (Not Covered in Other Research):

Communications Satellite Corp. v. Franchise Tax Bd., 156 Cal. App. 3d 726 (Cal. App. , 1984). Plaintiff Communications Satellite Corporation (Comsat) is an out-of-state corporation doing business in California. Comsat owns an interest in a number of satellites and receives income from their use. It also derives income from transmitting telecommunications signals to the satellites, and receiving signals from them, at an "earth station" located in California and similar facilities elsewhere. Defendant Franchise Tax Board assessed certain corporate income taxes against Comsat pursuant to a special formula, under Cal. Rev. & Tax. Code § 25137, which resulted in an apportionment of its total income, to California, on the bases of factors which included the value of the satellites and income received by Comsat from their use.
The Court held against Comsat finding that the pertinent language of the code defining the numerator of the property fraction refers to property "owned" and "used" in this state, not to property "located" here. While the satellites are not located in California, but the Jamesburg earth station is. Because it is, Comsat is conducting "business activity" and generating income in California. The court held that “there is an invisible, but apparently continuous and very real, connection between the earth station and the satellites. The earth station has a value only because this connection exists, and it is otherwise of no value. Without the connection, the satellites function in outer space to no purpose involving this state. With it, they function in California.”

Bonneville Intern. Corp. v. Peters, 347 F.3d 485 (3rd Cir) (Oct 17, 2003). In this copyright case, the Third Circuit discounted appellants argument that a “terrestrial broadcast station” means a business entity that is earthbound and not space-borne (satellite broadcaster). The court stated “to our knowledge, there are not, presently, any broadcasting companies incorporated in outer space--nor can there be. An interpretation of "terrestrial broadcast station" that distinguishes between earthbound and orbiting broadcasting entities is unpersuasive”.