The Outer Space Treaty, formally known as the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on January 27 1967, and entered into force on October 10 1967. As of January 2007, 98 countries are states-parties to the treaty, while another 27 have signed the treaty but have not yet completed ratification.
The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, since they are province of mankind. Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article II of the Treaty states, in fact, that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means". The pendant for giving up sovereignty in outer space is the jurisdiction and control that the State that launches a space object retains. According to Manfred Lachs jurisdiction and control is giving the means to the State to conduct a mission of space exploration.
Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty deals with international responsibility, stating that "the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty" and that States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities.
Following discussions arising from Project West Ford, a consultation clause was inserted in Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty: "A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment."
Common ground in the sky: extending the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to reconcile U.S. and Chinese security interests.
Jan 01, 2008; Abstract: A storm is brewing 100 kilometers above the Pacific Rim. The early 21st century finds the People's Republic of China in...
Celebrating the space age; 50 years of space technology, 40 years of the outer space treaty.(Brief Article)(Book Review)
Jun 01, 2008; 9789290451891 Celebrating the space age; 50 years of space technology, 40 years of the outer space treaty. Conference on...