When it comes to emerging industries like extraterrestrial resource mining, customary international law can seem like attempting to herd cats in zero gravity. Pinning down what is “fair” and “customary” in areas where no man has gone before can seem daunting but it also presents the unique opportunity to shape international custom by establishing them.
Obviously the Earth ends and space begins somewhere, but today, as it has been for the entirety of humanity's manned and unmanned exploration of "up there", there is no international legal definition of space, no clear indication of where space law applies! This ambiguity is a potential source of confusion and unease for aerospace companies.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2012/01/26 05:26 CST
Before automated space observatories like SDO could send pictures and videos of solar phenomenon in real-time, humans had to do it manually, as in the case of the groundbreaking Skylab space station missions, which featured the Apollo Telescope Mount.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/12/01 07:18 CST
A fun video of Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa playing baseball aboard the ISS.
A few updates on the Space Launch System, NASA's next-generation deep exploration vehicle.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/11/02 04:20 CDT
The Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou 8 docks with space station Tiangong 1, on the same day a Progress resupply capsule arrives at the International Space Station.
Posted by Louis D. Friedman on 2011/09/19 11:55 CDT
I spent much of the past week attending the Caltech Space Challenge, a student-organized international competition to design a human mission to a Near-Earth asteroid. It was a great week, and one of the most positive, upbeat and hopeful programs I have participated in concerning the future of space exploration.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/09/08 11:58 CDT
On September 6, NASA released new high-resolution photos from the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) showing the Apollo 12, 14 and 17 landing sites from vantage points as close as 21 kilometers.
Posted by Pablo Gutierrez-Marques on 2011/09/06 12:38 CDT
Concern about the supply chain for the ISS has been growing steeply over the last months. The final flight of Atlantis turned the ominous shadow of a future without the shuttle into a glum reality. And only a few weeks later, we have witnessed, with some degree of a shock, the first failure of a Progress mission in many years.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/08/15 11:58 CDT
An update on human spaceflight, including orbital propellant depots, suborbital test flights and an Orion crew capsule test aboard a Delta IV Heavy.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/08/15 06:19 CDT
This photo is making the rounds of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and whatever other social network you care to name today. It was shot by astronaut Ron Garan from the Space Station, and it's a meteor seen from above. Way cool.
Posted by Jason Davis on 2011/07/29 11:58 CDT
Private spaceflight company SpaceX has secured tentative approval with NASA to combine its next test flight with an actual ISS docking.
Posted by Ken Kremer on 2011/06/15 01:17 CDT
After a 16 day journey of more than sixteen million miles, Space Shuttle Endeavour and her six man crew glided to a safe nighttime landing at 2:35 a.m. EDT on June 1 at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. I watched from close by the shuttle landing strip as the ghostly ship flew past, preceded by shocking twin sonic booms.
Posted by Emily Lakdawalla on 2011/04/12 12:12 CDT
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human to see firsthand the blackness of space above our home planet's thin atmosphere. Since there's lots of thoughtful reporting and commentary being posted on this anniversary, I thought it'd be more useful to link to some particularly interesting posts than to add in my comments.