Does the law exist in space

Who does space belong to?

The overall increasing activities of private actors also pose new challenges for space law. The first tourists have already traveled into space and specific space hotels and plans to colonize the moon and Mars are increasingly being promoted. "If tourist flights remain as isolated as they are current, they are not a problem," says Hobe. "But if these take place regularly and in larger numbers in the future, a traffic management system would have to be created to prevent collisions." He considers the establishment of a 'space traffic management' to be relevant, even if this is still a long way off: "There are initial approaches, but I do not know of any concrete efforts by the international community from which this should proceed," says Hobe .

In principle, private actors in space law are not excluded. On the contrary: the space treaty contains a number of principles of mutual support and assistance as well as liability and already takes into account the existence of non-state actors. The only requirement for their activities in space is a national law that authorizes and oversees the activities.

While space flights by private companies like SpaceX are regulated by American space law, such a law is still missing for Germany. Approval in the current legislative period, as envisaged in the federal government's current coalition agreement, appears unrealistic. For Schladebach this is a grievance that should be addressed promptly: “I have been pointing out for several years that Germany needs a space law, because this is the only way to create legal certainty for German activities and projects. But the problem pressure is obviously not present in politics so far. "

Nevertheless, the experts consider space law as such and the space treaty in particular to be still modern and up-to-date. "The space treaty has existed for over 60 years, but it still answers many important questions about the use of space today," said Hobe.