Headline, August 03 2022/ ''' '' FINAL FRONTIER FIRST '' '''


 FIRST '' '''

ASSESSING THE FINAL FRONTIER : Russia and the U.S. both threaten international norms in outer space.

The Russian government has said that it will withdraw from the International Space Station ''after 2024.'' Instead of choosing multilateral cooperation, it plans to build its own station and send cosmonauts there to continue space research and exploration.

Russia's announcement sounds ominous - particularly given its invasion of Ukraine - but this move, part of the broader trend away from multilateralism in international space law, is but one recent signal of the fraying of international space cooperation.

Another was the Artemis Accords, a legal framework designed to potentially regulate future commercial activities in outer space, which was created under the Trump administration and upheld by the Biden administration.

Such actions threaten multilateralism beyond Earth and portend a future where space may no longer belong, equally, to all people.

A NUMBER OF U.N. TREATIES REGULATE OUTER SPACE - and strong legal norms bolster those global rules. The foundational agreement is the ''Outer Space Treaty'' of 1967, which lays out the principles that govern outer space, the moon and other celestial bodies.

Signed in the middle of the Cold War, the treaty was a symbol of the triumph of science over politics :  States could cooperate in space, even as the prospect of mutual destruction loomed on Earth.

CURRENTLY, more than 100 countries - including the United States and Russia - are parties to the treaty, which establishes outer space as a peaceful zone, prohibits the use or installation of weapons of mass destruction and designates space as '' the province of all mankind. ''

States cannot make claims of sovereignty or appropriate territory.The treaty also calls for scientific cooperation among states, with the belief that such cooperation will promote ''friendly relations'' among countries and their peoples.

In short, the treaty intends that all nations benefit from any activities conducted in space.

The symbol value of the treaty is obvious : Nationality recedes into the background when astronauts are floating in space. But beyond that, it has created standards and practices to prevent environmental contamination of the moon and other celestial bodies.

It promotes data sharing, including about the many objects, like satellites, spacecraft, launched into space, which helps to avoid collision. And its codified norms of the common heritage of mankind,peaceful use and scientific cooperation help preserve multilateralism in the face of states' derogations.

But the looming prospect of the commercialization of space has begun to test the limits of international space law.

In 2020, NASA, alone created the Artemis Accords, which challenge the foundational multilateral principles of space agreements. These are rules primarily drafted by the United States, which other countries are now adopting.

This is not collaborative multilateral rule making, but rather the export of U.S. laws abroad to a coalition of the willing.

The accords take the legal form of a series of bilateral treaties with 21 foreign nations, which include Australia, Canada, Japan the U.A.E. and Britain, among others.

This is not simply a relic of the anti-globalist rhetoric and policy of the Trump administration. Just two weeks ago, Saudi Arabia signed the Artemis Accords, during President Biden's visit.

Moreover, the accords open up the possibility of mining the moon or other celestial bodies for resources. They create ''safety zones'' where states may extract resources, though the document states that these activities must be undertaken in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty.

Legal experts point out that these provisions could violate the principle of non-appropriation, which prohibits countries from declaring parts of space as their sovereign territory. Others suggest that it is important to get in front of the changing technological landscape, arguing that when mining the moon becomes possible, there should already be rules in place to regulate such activities.

Failure to do so could result in a crisis similar to that around seabed-mining, where mining is poised to begin even though U.N. rules have yet to be finalized.

The Honour and Serving of the Latest Global Operational Research on the Final Frontier and the World, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Jessica F. Green, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto.

With respectful dedication to Space, the Final Frontier, Mankind, Leaders, and then Students, Professors and Teachers of the World. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society - the exclusive ownership of every student in the world : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

Good Night and God Bless

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