Legal framework for space cooperation from the perspective of "non-traditional partners"

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


By 2013, no fewer than 22 new countries expressed interest to begin to invest in space programs in the near future, increasing the total number of aspirant and established space nations to beyond 80. The rationale for investment for these aspirant players is similar to those of their established counterparts: to increase political standing, for national development and optimization of a "natural" resource. International Cooperation between governments remains a method for nations to gain access to space benefits and such cooperation is usually established through bilateral and multilateral cooperation agreements. With increasing engagement in space activity, it is arguable that the sectoral barriers to space including technology transfer limitations and protectionism have not prevented access to the benefits of space in the majority of cases, among allies. However, the implementation of agreements between established players and "non- traditional partners" is rarely assessed in terms of actual outcome and differences in cooperating conditions from traditional partners, which may mask some of the barriers that still remain despite the increasingly cooperative environment. This article proposes that a re-assessment of the legal framework governing International Cooperation in space activities calls for a reading of space law that promotes increased cooperation between countries that encourage the spread of space benefits to all countries. It argues that the Declaration on International Cooperation (the Space Benefits Declaration) develops only part of the significance of the common interest/common benefit principle in Article 1 of the Outer Space Treaty, thus there is still opportunity for aspirant countries to fill in the meaning of the legal right to international space cooperation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication65th International Astronautical Congress 2014, IAC 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOur World Needs Space
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781634399869
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event65th International Astronautical Congress 2014: Our World Needs Space, IAC 2014 - Toronto, Canada
Duration: Sep 29 2014Oct 3 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
ISSN (Print)0074-1795


Other65th International Astronautical Congress 2014: Our World Needs Space, IAC 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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