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Category Archives: Space

Dentons Opens Space Law Practice Group

Source – Washington Post:

International law firm Dentons has created a practice group focused on representing companies that manufacture, operate and invest in satellites, as it eyes potential in the fast-growing commercial space industry.

The new group is led by attorneys Del Smith, Liz Evans and Deepak Reddy, who recently joined Dentons from Jones Day. Smith is in Washington and Evans and Reddy are in New York. The group includes 15 attorneys spread across 10 of the firm’s offices around the world, whose legal expertise spans mergers and acquisitions, finance, restructuring, regulatory, insurance, intellectual property, antitrust and litigation. . . . [Full Story]


Event: International Space Conference

The International Space Conference will be held on January 8-9, 2015 in Noida, India:

India is now rising up as one of the main contenders in Space Market with successful launch of satellites of other countries with continuous R&D growth. As the most important emerging space market with continuous growth in R&D and so, it is important for our country to empower not only R&D organisation , but also private, commercial and education sectors, to take the lead on not just at Asia-Pacific front but at global platform.

We, Aryavarta Space Organization and Amity University, are jointly organizing 2nd International Space Conference 2015 (ISC 2015), during 08-09 January, 2015, at Amity University (Sec. 125, Noida, India) to provide common platform for academia, industry, researchers and government, to share knowledge and ideas for development in space sector (Space Science, Engineering & Technology, Space Law & Policy and Life Science Issues & Aero-medicine), with a focus on promoting Space Applications in Climate Change & Environment. Furthermore, ISC 2015 will also explore the opportunities for the new and possible co-operations / research projects / joint ventures amongst the global stakeholders of space sector. Through, ISC 2015 we wish to create a platform to showcase new talents, innovations, promote R&D and explore and expand the research and development.

Of course, different delegates and participants from different parts of the world will also be there to give shape to a new horizon of Space at the heart of the most Vibrant and Beautiful Country – India.

Through this auspicious conference – based on the theme “Explore the Ideas!” we expect to bring a dynamic change in our society with new innovations to overcome the present limitations of the technologies. We also believe that our this effort will create a new horizon on the Space Platform to showcase the world, the most vibrant knowledge treasure, which is spread among the diversified cultures and heritage across the globe and utilize the space technology for the benefits of the society.

The 1st ISC 2012 was conducted successfully on 30 Nov 2012 – 01 Dec 2012, at Ahmedabad (Gujarat, India) with 200 delegates from all over the world.

Hence, to unfurl this august gathering, on behalf of entire International Space Conference 2015 committee, we would like to invite you for this auspicious conference and request your participation please.

​​​Participation details are displayed on the website for further reference. Your valuable participation will add glory to this knowledge sharing platform. Please feel free to approach us in case of any further query / assistance.

We will look forward to receive you at ISC 2015.

Event: 4th IAA Planetary Defense Conference – Protecting our planet from impacts by asteroids and comets

Source – IAA:

4th IAA Planetary Defense Conference

Protecting our planet from impacts by asteroids and comets

The past IAA Planetary Defense Conferences are available on this website

Armillary Sphere in ESRIN

ESA ESRIN, Frascati, Italy

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The International Academy of Astronautics will hold its 4th conference from 13-17 April, 2015 in Frascati, Italy.

Planetary Defense
Recent Progress & Plans
NEO Discovery
NEO Characterization
Mitigation Techniques & Missions
Impact Effects that Inform Warning, Mitigation & Costs
Consequence Management & Education
The conference will include an exercise where participants will simulate the decision-making process for developing deflection and civil defense responses to a hypothetical asteroid threat.

China-Italy Space Cooperation

Source – ASI:

Italy and China, cooperation in space
The head of the Chinese Space Agency in Italy for a two-day institutional visit. The CNSA President Xu Dazhe meets the Minister Giannini in Rome. A letter of intent signed at the ASI headquarters to establish a Cooperation Committee. Followed by a visit to the TAS-I plant

22 Jul 2014
A large delegation from the Chinese Space Agency (CNSA), led by the President Xu Dazhe, today concluded two days full of institutional appointments in Italy.

This morning, accompanied by the ASI President Roberto Battiston, the delegation paid a visit to the Thales Alenia Space Italy (TAS-I) plant in L’Aquila, while yesterday Dazhe and Battiston met the Minister of Education, University and Research Stefania Giannini at Palazzo Madama, in Rome, and then signed an important cooperation agreement at the ASI headquarters.

“The mutual interest of cooperation between the Italian and the Chinese industry was reaffirmed with the support of the relevant space agencies” said Battiston. “The agreement that we signed – he continued – will serve to create a format not only for research but also for the industrial business plan”.

Several distinctions in the Italian aerospace industry were presented to the Eastern partners during the visit to L’Aquila. Elisio Prette, president and CEO of TAS-I, opened the meeting, later giving way to the Vice President Giovanni Fuggetta for a speech titled “The New L’Aquila plant”.

Following, the presentation of Telespazio by the CEO Luigi Pasquali and that of E-geos by the CEO Marcello Maranesi. The contribution of Battiston and a visit to the TAS-I facilities closed the day.

Yesterday, Dahze and Battiston met the Minister Stefania Giannini in the centre of Rome, and then onto the headquarters of the Italian Space Agency at the Tor Vergata University of Rome.

Here the two presidents of the respective national agencies formally confirmed the mutual commitment to strengthen the bilateral cooperation in the space sector in a long-term strategic vision, with the signing of a letter of intent establishing a specific Committee: the Joint Space Cooperation Committee (JSCC), responsible for identifying every possible area of bilateral cooperation.

The JSCC, chaired by the heads of the two agencies and composed of their representatives, will evaluate the opportunity for partners to collaborate in the analysis and exchange of satellite data for environmental monitoring and for the prevention of natural disasters, in the study of polarization phenomena of celestial bodies and X Ray Timing and monitoring of gravity. The committee will also be responsible for promoting the cooperation between the two countries for research on dark matter, cosmic radiation and the robotics and astrophysics fields.

The JSCC, among others, will consider a proposal to establish a joint space science and technology laboratory through the support of Universities and Research Institutes. The meeting follows the signing of the Framework Agreement between ASI and CNSA signed on November 23, 2011 in Beijing.

Disasters Charter: Landslide in Nepal

The Disasters Charter was activated for a Landslide in Nepal:

Landslide in Nepal

Type of Event: Landslide
Location of Event: Sindhupalchowk District, Nepal
Date of Charter Activation: 05 August 2014
Charter Requestor: Asia Disaster Reduction Center (ADRC) on behalf of ICIMOD
Project Management: Asian Institute of Technology (AIT)

Description of the Event
Ten people have been confirmed killed in a landslide in the Sindhupalchowk District of Nepal and over a hundred more are believed lost. The landslide occurred on 02 August 2014 following heavy rain.

Landslides are common in Nepal during this time of year, when rain falls on the nation’s mountainous terrain. But this landslide brought debris and rocks down on Mankha village, burying dozens of houses and 159 people. Despite search efforts, by 04 August rescue workers announced that there was no longer any hope of saving the 159 missing victims.

The landslide has blocked part of the Araniko Highway; an important, but notoriously dangerous, route which leads to Nepal’s capital city, Kathmandu. Rescue workers have been cutting temporary routes through the debris in order to get supplies through to the victims of the landslide.

Of great concern is the landslide’s impact on Sunkoshi River. Debris from the landslide also blocked part of this river and formed a growing lake. It was feared that the lake would burst through the debris and the excess water flood villages along the river and even into neighbouring India. 100,000 people were evacuated in India due to concerns over the potential flood, but in Nepal the army has carefully been clearing debris on the river and slowly letting the water through so that it does not flood. While there are still concerns over potential flooding, it has been reported that the water level is dropping.

Five hundred tourists were additionally left stranded by the landslide. Hiking in the mountains when the landslide occurred, their guides brought the tourists safely to Tatopani town where they were later rescued on 04 August.
Emergency workers and soldiers are working together to treat the wounded in Sindhupalchowk district, to salvage what remains from the landslide, and to recover the bodies of its victims.

EU to Make Decision on Cooperation with Russia in Lunar Exploration

Source – Satnews Daily:

Russia + European Space Agency—Decision On ESA Inclusion Set For December (Government)

[SatNews] A final decision on the European Space Agency’s (ESA) participation in Russia’s lunar program will be taken in December 2014, Igor Mitrofanov from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Space Research said on Sunday.

“Europeans want to cooperate with Russia on the lunar program,” Mitrofanov, who is the director of the Institute’s nuclear planetology department, told the COSPAR (Committee on Space Research) Scientific Assembly. “The final decision on their participation will be taken at a ministerial conference of the European Space Agency’s member countries.” . . . [Full Story]

State Department Alleges Chinese ASAT Test

The State Department has accused China of engaging in an ASAT test. Here’s a round up of resources from around the web:

U.S. Says China Tested Anti-satellite Missile – Space News

U.S. Accuses China of Conducting Another ASAT Test – Space Policy Online

U.S. State Department: China Tested Anti-satellite Weapon – Space News

Chinese anti-satellite test? – Behind the Black

Report: State Dept. Calls on China to End Anti-Satellite Missile Development – Missile Threat

China Developing Capability To Kill Satellites, Experts Say – Missile Threat

EVENT: United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law The Role of National Space Legislation in Strengthening the Rule of Law 17 to 21 November 2014, Beijing, China

The United Nations/China/APSCO Workshop on Space Law: The Role of National Space Legislation in Strengthening the Rule of Law will be held on 17 to 21 November 2014 in Beijing, China. The application form is due on August 15, and there is more information in the Information Note.


H.R.5063: ASTEROIDS Act was introduced on July 10, 2014 by Rep. Bill Posey:

[Congressional Bills 113th Congress] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] [H.R. 5063 Introduced in House (IH)]

2d Session
H. R. 5063

To promote the development of a commercial asteroid resources industry
for outer space in the United States and to increase the exploration
and utilization of asteroid resources in outer space.



July 10, 2014

Mr. Posey (for himself and Mr. Kilmer) introduced the following bill;
which was referred to the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology



To promote the development of a commercial asteroid resources industry
for outer space in the United States and to increase the exploration
and utilization of asteroid resources in outer space.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the “American Space Technology for
Exploring Resource Opportunities In Deep Space Act” or the “ASTEROIDS


(a) In General.–Subtitle V of title 51, United States Code, is
amended by adding at the end the following new chapter:


“51301. Commercialization of asteroid resource exploration and
utilization in outer space.
“51302. Legal framework.
“51303. Definitions.
“Sec. 51301. Commercialization of asteroid resource exploration and
utilization in outer space
“The President, through the Administration, the Federal Aviation
Administration, and other appropriate Federal agencies, shall–
“(1) facilitate the commercial exploration and utilization
of asteroid resources to meet national needs;
“(2) discourage government barriers to the development of
economically viable, safe, and stable industries for the
exploration and utilization of asteroid resources in outer
space in manners consistent with the existing international
obligations of the United States;
“(3) promote the right of United States commercial
entities to explore and utilize resources from asteroids in
outer space, in accordance with the existing international
obligations of the United States, free from harmful
interference, and to transfer or sell such resources; and
“(4) develop the frameworks necessary to meet the
international obligations of the United States.
“Sec. 51302. Legal framework
“(a) Property Rights.–Any resources obtained in outer space from
an asteroid are the property of the entity that obtained such
resources, which shall be entitled to all property rights thereto,
consistent with applicable provisions of Federal law.
“(b) Freedom From Harmful Interference.–As between any entities
over which the United States can exercise jurisdiction, any assertion
of superior right to execute specific commercial asteroid resource
utilization activities in outer space shall prevail if it is found to
be first in time, derived upon a reasonable basis, and in accordance
with all existing international obligations of the United States.
“(c) Safety of Operations.–A United States commercial asteroid
resource utilization entity shall avoid harmful interference to other
“(d) Relief From Harmful Interference.–A United States commercial
asteroid resource utilization entity may bring an action for
appropriate legal or equitable relief, or both, under this chapter for
any action, by another private entity, compromising the right to
conduct its operations free of harmful interference.
“(e) Exclusive Jurisdiction.–The district courts of the United
States shall have exclusive jurisdiction of an action under this
chapter without regard to the amount in controversy.
“Sec. 51303. Definitions
“For the purposes of this chapter:
“(1) State.–The term `State’ means any of the several
States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto
Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the
Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other
commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.
“(2) United states commercial asteroid resource
utilization entity.–The term `United States commercial
asteroid resource utilization entity’ means a person or company
providing asteroid exploration or utilization services, the
control of which is held by persons other than a Federal,
State, local, or foreign government, that is–
“(A) duly organized under the laws of a State;
“(B) subject to the subject matter and personal
jurisdiction of the courts of the United States; or
“(C) a foreign entity that has voluntarily
submitted to the subject matter and personal
jurisdiction of the courts of the United States.”.
(b) Clerical Amendment.–The table of chapters for title 51, United
States Code, is amended by adding at the end of the items for subtitle
V the following:

“513. Asteroid resource exploration and utilization…….. 51301”.

In Memoriam: Prof. Dr. Gennady P. Zhukov

Prof. Dr. Gennady P. Zhukov has passed away. The IISL website has a full obituary.

Prof. Dr Gennady P. Zhukov (1924-2014)
23 July 2014

The International Institute of Space Law is sad to note the passing of Prof. Dr Gennady P. Zhukov.

Prof. Zhukov served as a Vice President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL) for 15 years, finally becoming an Honorary Director of the Institute. He was awarded with a gold medal and a diploma from the International Astronautical Federation and the IISL respectively for his contributions to the scientific development of International space law issues.

In April 2014 his 90th birthday was celebrated in Moscow with a conference organised by the People’s Friendship University.