Path to Mars #958: The Art of Space Law

You may have noticed a few changes around this website, and also that the blog posts have disappeared for the last few months. The reason behind this is that in February, I started writing a new space/art column called Breathing Space for the online newspaper I’m still working to find a balance between my space/art projects as my space art business continues to build. You can look forward to more interesting and expansive changes to this website moving forward through 2013.

In the meantime, I’ll be cross posting some of my Breathing Space articles to this blog.
The first article is all about the relationship between Space Law and Policy and Art.

Fly me to the moon

Here’s an excerpt:

The glittery, silver luggage tag on my suitcase reads “fly me to the moon”. It came free with a bottle of wine consumed one summer night back in 2011. It’s a tag worthy of Elle Woods, the indefatigable heroine of Legally Blonde, who shows up on the steps of Harvard Law School with more sparkle than counsel. As the only artist attending International Space University last summer, I suddenly found myself with a deep and profound connection to Elle Woods – excepting the blondeness.

Seated among of some of the brightest up-and-coming minds in the space industry for my first lecture on space law, I felt a combination of elation and terror. How could I possibly comprehend this subject, despite their promises that it would be accessible to all disciplines? I comforted myself with the fact that unlike Elle, I had read the textbook in advance. I was determined to find my way into the material, on a mission to discover what the arts could contribute to space law and policy.

The International Space University, located in Strasborg, France, holds a nine-week space studies program in a different global location each summer. The intercultural, interdisciplinary, and international credo of the university allows for a diverse group of participants to experience and learn about the broad aspects of the space industry and to become part of the growing “new space mafia” that lives and breathes space. In this column, I’ll be exploring the subjects that form the core of the space studies program and the space industry, through the unique filter of humanities. This week, I’ll be starting with a lesser-known aspect of the industry: space law and policy.

Sci-fi treaties

While on the surface space law is decidedly un-artsy, it attempts to answer questions seemingly more fit for the plot of a sci-fi novel than real life. If a satellite de-orbits and crashes into a farm, who is liable for the damages? Does the USA own the portion of the moon where the American Flag was planted? If an astronaut accidentally lands in your backyard, are they guaranteed safe passage home? If a private company starts mining an asteroid, do they own the resources?

You can read the rest of the article here.

Blast Off!


About Renate Pohl

Theatre Designer, Space and Stained Glass Artist, Writer.
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