Interpreting “Space Resources Obtained”: Historical and Postcolonial Interventions in the Law of Commercial Space Mining

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This Note addresses a fundamental ambiguity in the U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015 (“CSLCA”). It is unclear whether the statute authorizes U.S. citizens to extract natural resources from asteroids and other celestial bodies, as is commonly assumed. Alternatively, the statute can be read to merely entitle citizens to resources that have already been obtained, where the regime for actually obtaining such resources remains undetermined.

The Bogotá Declaration: A Case Study on Sovereignty, Empire, and the Commons in Outer Space

The Bogotá Declaration: A Case Study on Sovereignty, Empire, and the Commons in Outer Space

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The Bogotá Declaration of 1976, in which a series of equatorial states attempted to resist the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 by claiming sovereignty over geostationary orbit above their territories, presents a unique case that contradicts some assumptions about the use of commons-like regimes to correct asymmetric governance regimes. This case suggests the value of historical scholarship on colonialism and development to ongoing disputes in space law and in other regimes governing extraterritorial domains.