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Space Tourism – A Layman’s Dream

This article was submitted by Muskan sharma from Guru nanak Dev University RC Jalandhar for National Legal Writing Competition,2016.

Space is an inspirational concept that allows you to dream big “-Peter Diamandis. Thus after all the eminent personalities who had explored space like Yuri Garagin, 1961, first Russian cosmonaut entered space and made 108 min orbital flight so were the others William Andres, Sultan Salman Al Saudi, Neil Armstrong the first person to walk on the moon, Indo-American lady Kalpana Chawala the first women of Indian origin just set examples for others to travel in space. It’s the dream of every layman that they once in their lifetime should travel outer space, but frankly speaking, it’s not every body’s cup of tea .Other than astronauts only wealthiest people could travel. Though one should not lose hope because  if all doors to escape are closed there’s one hidden door which is open. This aspect of space law has been well versed in the concept of international law. Choosing this concept is equally idiosyncratic and fascinating at same footings like all the social legal and economic issues of our country .

Its now famous concept of Indian law as well the international law was first defined by Jeremy Bentham[1]. Thus defined by various scholars and it basically, means the set of rules generally regarded and accepted as binding in the relation between states and between nations. Traveling in today’s world has become a part of the mechanism of a human being. At one time it would be inconceivable to think of ordinary people buying tickets to travel to space. But today it is happening and it is called space tourism.

Space tourism is thus space travel for recreational, leisure or business purpose. In astronaut language, it basically means get to know what are the various phenomena’s which are taking place in the upper atmosphere, in space or in the celestial body other than earth. Broadly speaking “space tourism “denotes any commercial activity that offers customers direct and indirect experience with space travel[2]. We live in an epoch where acquaintance with space travel is quickly becoming a form of private commercial activity. The increasing number of the private individual to space has enthralled the public at large. All this has been possible just because of treaties and conventions signed in United Nations general assembly. Well said lines by Brain K.Vaughan, “My parents grew up during the space race, and I think they imagined the future would be us living on moon bases and everyone has rocket shoes”.

Coming to legal aspect the committee has been set for the peaceful uses of outer space. It is the forum for the development of international space law. It just introduced five treaties and five set of principles on space activities. The first notable is the “outer space treaty[3], was second of the so-called   “nonarmament” treaty which dealt with the treaty on principle governing the activities of states in the exploration and use of outer space including the moon and other celestial bodies. It came into force on 10 October 1967. 104 countries till September 2015 are parties to this treaty.

Another important treaty is the “rescue agreement” (resolution 2345 (XXII)[4]). I.e. the agreement on the rescue of astronauts, the return of astronauts and the objects launched into the outer space. It came into force on 3 December 1968. Till May 2013, 92 states have ratified it.

The” liability convention”  2777(XXVI)[5] is another space treaty .it entered into force on 1st September 1972. The convention on international liability for damage caused by spacecraft elaborates the Article 7 of the outer space treaty; the liability convention that state launching shall be liable to pay compensation for damages caused by its space objects on the surface of the earth or outer space.

The “moon agreement” designated as Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies. This came live on11 July 1984. Till date it is the dormant or failed treaty because not much ratification has been received for this treaty only 16 states had ratified this treaty till date because states that are engaged in self –launched manned space exploration e.g.: US , India, Russia etc thus have a negligible effect.

Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer space known to be as the “Liability Convention”  adopted in 1975 in .resolution 3235 (XXIX)[6]. It has been ratified by the 62 states till 2014 records. The basic terms and conditions of this convention are that every state has to furnish a minute detail of the orbit of each space object to UN.

Five principles of these outer space are equally important as the treaties. Which deals with the following aspect like the declaration of legal principle governing the activities of the state in exploration and use of outer space, the principle of television broadcasting, principle relating to remote sensing of earth from outer space, nuclear power principle , last the benefit declaration.


during the period of 2001- 2010 there are 7 space tourists who made 8 space flights. The announced price for flights negotiated by space adventures to international space station abroad, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft[7] has been US $20-40 million till 2009 . it’s the huge amount. The Dennis Tito (2001), mark Shuttleworth (2002), Gregory Olsen (2005), Anousheh Ansari (2006), Charles Simonyi (2007-09), Richard Garriott (2008) , Guy Lalibert (2009). These seven people paid $20 to $40 million to travel.


The question that one ponders is who is going to help a layman to explore space. The answer to this question is that there are 6 private companies who will help on to initiate space exploration. Among them is space exploration technology ( Space x, 7 seaters), orbital science , Blue origin( 3 seaters), Bigelow aerospace (3-s), Virgin Galatic ( 8-s), Space Dev / Sierra Nevada corporation all these have their different traveling price. Current the Russian tourism company planned 5 minutes traveling worth $200,000-250,000 per person.


Fulfilling one’s dream is not that easy if have an advantage we have the disadvantage of the same as well. In India, if we need space tourism to have its significance there is the requirement of proper legislation from pin to the plane activity of private space exploration. Since the government doesn’t give proper sanction to all such activities. Further, there are lacks of space aircraft in India which can be a hindrance to one’s dream. The public interest plays a major role , lack of people’s interest in space also leads to less of its eminence in society if we open this concept to all men’s it will likely to gain popularity among social being. Environment issues also another issue to it hazardous gasses in the environment cause problem etc. further budgeting this trip lead one to debt, the problem of orbital and sub- orbital is another constraint. Medical problem facilities space problems etc are various impediments to one’s fantasy.

Though in coming few decades this may gain popularity , but the country like India require and need to give proper education regarding these space laws and science and should not only subject to particular class of people. The times of India quotes that a resident of Kerala Santosh Kulangara, 37 was a first Indian to travel space in 2009 through virgin galactic though paid huge amount but paved way for Indians. Thus there are mere possibilities of its future existence.

Thus by summing up my notion I would manifest that not only  other countries have a right to access these foreign trips to space we Indians have an equal right to transverse it as ones we were also known as the golden bird and in upcoming future, our law will also have sanctions to get layman visit space.

“Thus it’s time to start a concept of citizenship to space from Indian continent like a part II Of our constitution” .


[1] Jeremy Bentham’s- introduction to principle of morals and legislature -1780

[2] Stephen Hobbes & Jurgen Cloppenburg-legal aspect of space tourism

[3] 21st  session of united nations link UN DOCUMENT

[4]Official record of general assembly 22nd session CLICK HERE

[5] 26TH SESSION OF united nations CLICK HERE

[6] General Assembly 30th session CLICK HERE

[7] Soyuz spacecraft CLICK HERE

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