Within the next year or two, people will set foot on the surface of the Moon for the first time in 50 years.
A US-led coalition and China are both planning to establish bases on the Moon. How the two nations will navigate actions on the Moon and how other countries will be involved is still unclear.
NASA Advanced Concepts Laboratory
An elaborate scheme to shade Earth with millions of tonnes of Moon dust floating in space is unlikely to get off the ground.
China and the U.S. both have big plans for the Moon, but there are a number of reasons why no country could actually claim ownership of any land there.
3dScultor/iStock via Getty Images
A comment by Bill Nelson, the NASA administrator, sparked a strong public response from the Chinese government. But due to legal and practical reasons, no country could take over the Moon anytime soon.
There is a U.S. flag on the Moon, but in the future, countries may start to turn access to the Moon and asteroids into serious wealth.
NASA/Neil A. Armstrong
Current trends suggest that powerful nations are defining the rules of resource use in space and satellite access in ways that will make it hard for developing nations to ever catch up.
Russia threatened to withdraw from the International Space Station over sanctions imposed on the country following its invasion of Ukraine.
3Dsculptor via Shutterstock
Listen to two space experts discuss how the Russian invasion of Ukraine threatens international collaboration in space on The Conversation Weekly podcast.
The International Space Station is a great example of how space has, for the most part, been a peaceful and collaborative international arena.
NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center/Flickr
Activities in space today are far more numerous and complicated compared to 1967, before humans had landed on the moon or Elon Musk had been born. Two experts explain the need for better laws to keep space peaceful.
Space debris produced by anti-satellite weapons can have dangerous consequences.
Russia’s testing of an anti-satellite weapon risked the life of astronauts on the International Space Station and could have astronomical impacts on Earth.
Sure, they’re billionaires, but the exploits of Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos have undeniably brought space tourism a step closer. That raises tricky legal, ethical and environmental questions.
It’s unlikely falling space junk will destroy property or kill a person.
Petrovich9/iStock via Getty Images
Chances are small that space junk will destroy property or harm a person, and existing space law could deal with such an event. But current law doesn’t address the bigger problem of space pollution.
Earth orbit is filling up with satellites and space junk. Technological fixes can only go so far to deal with the problem.
As Australia’s efforts in space accelerate, we must avoid escalating a cycle of competition and conflict.
The space laws designed to protect planets and moons from contamination.
These astronaut footprints on the Moon aren’t protected yet.
Who cares what happens to bootprints on the Moon? All humans should. And thankfully the US Congress and president agree.
A change of government in the USA means less risk of ‘space war’ and more hope for peaceful cooperation.
Illustration of a future Moon base by the European Space Agency, which hasn’t signed the Artemis Accords.
ESA; RegoLight, visualisation: Liquifer Systems Group, 2018
Some nations are concerned the Artemis Accords represent a US power grab.
Who owns the Moon?
Henglein and Steets/Getty Images
US and international law conflicts about who would be in charge if a private company established a Moon base or colonized Mars.
Governments and corporations must get serious about the legal, technical, economic, social and ethical implications of a potential space-based resource economy.
Following announcements by France and the US, NATO is expected to start using space weapons.
In the fourth episode of our podcast series, we look at the practical, legal and ethical questions about going to set up base on the moon – and mining its resources.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, US, May 2019.
This are looking up when it comes to launching things into space from Australia. The rules on what can be launched are currently under review and open for comment.