all by myself , outer space presentation, first part
March 21, 2005 1 Comment
But that is not enough, people wanted to learn more, wanted to have more. Even dated back to 1865, a book entitled: De la Terra à la Lune, written by Verne, depicted an imagination emerge from the realms of fantasy: man’s first entry into outer space in fiction. The development of the aircrafts ensures the possible and basic requirement for the outer space travel. During the years preceding World War II significant progress in space technology was made in countries like Germany, the USSR and the USA. The enormous accumulated experiences gained during the war finally lead to a breakthrough in outer space in 1957, when Sputnik I became the first satellite to orbit the earth in outer space. In April 1961, Yuri Gagarin completed the first manned space flight, and in 1969 Neil Armstrong became the first human being to set foot on another celestial body, the moon. It had, by then, already become apparent that legal rules were indispensable if confusion and undesirable practices in the use of outer space were to be avoided. In the wake of burgeoning space technology, space law soon became a reality.
It would not be exaggerate to say that what Wright brothers did for the air law, the Sputnik I did for outer space law, although there could be no doubt that the International Geophysical Year celebrated from 1957-58 also made a vital contribution. On 18 Dec 1958, the United Nations General Assembly recognized the need for international cooperation and for conventions establishing the rule of peaceful use of outer space, in conformity with Article 2, section 1, of the UN Charter. On 12 Dec 1959, an “ad hoc” committee was installed by the UN to deal with the legal problems of involvement in space activities as they emerged. “The Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” was set up by the General Assembly in 1959 (resolution 1472 (XIV)) to review the scope of international cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space, to devise programmes in this field to be undertaken under United Nations auspices, to encourage continued research and the dissemination of information on outer space matters, and to study legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. In 1961 the UN adopted a Resolution stipulating explicitly that only peaceful use of outer space was to be permitted. Another key provision was that appropriation by Stated was prohibited in outer space. A further Resolution was adopted on the same subject two years later, “Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space”. The principles laid down in the Resolution were to form the basic elements of the so-called “Space Treaty” of 1967. This UN-sponsored Treaty, which entered into force on 10 Oct, 1967, is the cornerstone on which a number of space law conventions of later date have been based. Taken together they constitute the nucleus of space law as it stands today.
Now we come to a very practical problem. Why do we need law about outer space? Outer space is an exciting and highly important region, which because of its unique nature holds the potential for both significant benefits and dangers. The primary goals of space law are to ensure a rational, responsible approach to the exploration and use of outer space for the benefit and in the interests of all humankind. To this end, space law addresses a variety of diverse matters, such as military activities in outer space, preservation of the space and Earth environment, liability for damages caused by space objects, settlement of disputes, protection of national interests, rescue of astronauts, sharing of information about potential dangers in outer space, use of space-related technologies, and international cooperation.
What I said above is more like an official answer for the reality. Actually, there do have other reasons we believe to formulate the principle of all human kind. It is at the cold war that we have codified the outer space law. Without a legal binding document in outer space, no one would ensure, then two superpower countries could keep the temptation of using nuclear power in the outer space against each other, which would result in a disaster to all the human kind. Also, during 1960s, due to the technology barriers, only two countries were capable to launch a project in outer space. For the rest countries in the world, the desire to outer space is not accordingly reflected in the ability to outer space. Without the international treaties of outer space, by the time they are capable to do so, no rooms could be left for them. Exactly same thing happen hundred years ago, the occupation of colonies. England becomes an un-sunset empire benefiting from the colonies. For some people, a repeating wrongfully history is, apparently, not what they want to see.
Third reason, where there are human beings’ activities, where are conflicts. Where are conflicts, where we need regulation. It is better than nothing that we have such regulations. Also, we look into the character of the science development. We don’t know what exactly we will have, what we know is that we will have something. By developing the space science, will of course benefit the countries. This creates another reason justifying the existence of outer space law.