GOOGLE in Space? How Will Space Governance Accommodate Non-State Actors?

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


This paper considers the changing nature of space activities and how the regulatory challenges posed by the growing commercial space sector will affect the operation of the Outer Space Treaty and the application of international law to military and non-military uses of space. It is suggested that whilst we are at the beginning of enticing new commercial players into the space domain, we ensure that they are subject to regulation that supports and reinforces the rules that already exist pursuant to the space treaties in international law. We should not fool ourselves into thinking we can operate a dual space: one for peaceful and scientific exploration and one for commercial exploitation, each subject to its own regime. Nor should we allow a situation to evolve where multinational corporations have to fill the regulatory void with their own systems of governance. Laws need to be developed which serve to enhance the security of space for all participants, which are consistent, predictable and relevant and do not encourage the Googlisation of space.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
Specialist publicationResearch Unit on Military Law & Ethics (RUMLAE)
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Space Governance
  • Space Actors
  • Space Activities
  • Commercial Space


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