Journal of Air Law and Commerce


The Outer Space Treaty, the leading source of law for activities in space, has laid out various limitations and regulations regarding actions in space and how space can be used. One of these limitations is commonly referred to as the “non-appropriation principle.” The non-appropriation principle prohibits nations from making claims of sovereignty over celestial bodies in space. This presents a problem as the space industry continues to progress because it causes uncertainty regarding the meaning of appropriation, what is classified as a celestial body, what acts are allowed, and who specifically is prohibited from acting. This Comment identifies these problems and their potential solutions, specifically with the proposition of space mining in mind.



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