Agreement Not To Militarize Space

In early 1957, even before the launch of Sputnik in October, the evolution of missile technology prompted the United States to propose an international review of space object testing. The development of a space inspection system was part of a Western proposal for partial disarmament presented in August 1957. But the Soviet Union, which was testing its first ICBM and was about to make a round of its first Earth satellite, did not accept these proposals. On 16 June 1966, both the United States and the Soviet Union submitted draft treaties. The American project focused only on celestial bodies; Soviet design covered the entire space environment. The United States accepted the Soviet position on the scope of the treaty and, until September, the Geneva talks resulted in agreement on most of the treaty`s provisions. Differences on the few remaining issues — including access to the facilities of celestial bodies, coverage of space activities and the use of military equipment and personnel in space research — were satisfactorily resolved in closed consultations at the meeting of the General Assembly held up to December. Article II Space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, use or occupation or by other means. As policymakers, including espers, contemplate the potential militarization of new areas, they should also prioritize confidence-building measures, transparency efforts and arms control agreements, which can help us avoid future conflicts in increasingly diverse dimensions of human activities. The prohibition of nuclear weapons and military activities in outer space was sensible, given the concerns of the time.

This Treaty shall apply to the exploration and use of outer space activities of States Parties, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, whether carried out by a single State Party or jointly with other States, including in cases where they are carried out within the framework of international intergovernmental organizations. Since it is primarily an arms control contract for the peaceful uses of outer space, it offers insufficient and ambiguous rules for recent space activities such as the extraction of lunar and asteroids. [8] [10] [15] It therefore remains to be asked whether resource extraction falls within the prohibitive language of appropriation or whether the use involves commercial use and use. [16] In search of clearer guidelines, the United States is deprived. . . .