For many companies looking to gain a foothold beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, space
exploration and business ventures are a reality as the U.S. space program has transitioned
from government control to private enterprise. A Texas Tech University professor has
found expansion into space also presents the opportunity for up-and-coming lawyers
to get in on the ground floor of space law. They’ll be responsible for determining
the laws and regulations that will guide free enterprise in space, from international
treaties to even state law.
Vickie Sutton, a Paul Whitfield Horn professor in the Texas Tech University School of Law and the director of the Center for Biodefense, Law and Public Policy, is offering a short course online entitled “Business Opportunities for Space Law
for Now and the Future” with plans to create a full course that will be offered through
the Texas Tech Law School beginning in Spring 2017, known as Space Law.
Vickie Sutton, Paul Whitfield Horn professor and director of the Center for Biodefense, Law and
Public Policy, Texas Tech School of Law, (806) 834-1752 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Only a few law schools across the globe offer graduate degrees dealing with space
law, and a handful of others offer courses in space law.
- The course covers the development of activities in space and the basic laws and regulations
that regulate those activities. It also explores the international asteroid defense
program, the emergence of asteroid mining as well as space tourism and how those areas
will be regulated as well.
- The short, online course now available will guide those interested through the legal
aspects of space travel and development to give a clearer picture of emerging business
opportunities and how to navigate the basics of space law. The three-hour course,
available in about a year, will delve into those aspects in much more detail.
- A link to the short course can be found here.
- “You’re not going to have jurisdictional boundaries in space like you do for aviation
where you take off and land and fly through air space and can regulate that. That’s
not possible in space law where you’re passing through at a distance and not landing.
It created a whole other territory for jurisdictional, substantive law.”
- “I designed the course for non-law and law students. I think bringing law students
together with science students or engineering students is really optimal for science
and technology courses. The law student learns from the science student and the science
student learns from the law student.”
- “What we have now in the state of evolution of space is the private sector is thinking
how they can take what has been developed and how entrepreneurs can make it into something
profitable. We’re at that stage right now where it’s not quite profitable, but it’s
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