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What are the rules for tomorrow?

What are the rules for tomorrow?

We're getting to a A new era of space exploration. It was not very popular before, especially by private players like SpaceX companyOr Blue Origin (founded by Jeff Bezos) or Rocket Lab. Parallel to the transformation of the space sector, there is a strong revival in interest in the Moon, driven by even more impressive technological advances. Our satellite is the subject of great desire, and this decade will be the decade for the return of manned missions on it. And therefore, Space governance It is an increasingly hot topic.

Anthony Clifford Grayling, a British philosopher and professor of philosophy at Birkbeck College in London, has considered this question. in currency Who owns the moon? In defense of humanity's common interests in space It was issued a week ago and calls for Urgent idea On governance, ownership and management of lunar resources.

The race to the moon intensifies

The moon craze is undeniable today. Between the successful landing of Odysseus, the Indian and Japanese rovers, and even NASA's Artemis mission, we are witnessing Real excitement period. Today, the power of public-private partnerships is facilitating this rush to the moon, but we are not returning there just for prestige or to accelerate scientific research.

The possibility of exploiting lunar resources This also fuels the race. The main object of desire: the icy waters of the lunar South Pole. This can be broken down into hydrogen and oxygen, providing a vital source of rocket fuel and supporting life systems. It could one day revolutionize the logistics of space missions, by allowing fuel to be produced directly in space, thus reducing reliance on launches from Earth, which are very expensive.

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this Moon rushas it may be called, will have profound implications for the future of the space economy, especially for space Legal and ethical framework Regulating the use of space resources. Regulation of this sector has become more important.

Who owns the rights to the moon?

In his work, Grayling challenges readers to do just that The complex nature of spatial ownership. Space was once considered an intangible frontier, but today it is a sphere of convergence of very diverse interests: scientific, economic or national.

The 1967 Space Treaty was a fundamental pillar of international space law. But it is now outdated. It was written at a time when human and private existence in space seemed very distant. Today, it is no longer sufficient to cover and regulate the commercial exploitation of space resources. If the treaty had stipulated at that time that space was “ Boycott all humanity “, We realize that this idea, no matter how noble, is too vague to regulate the activity of actors in the process of exploiting lunar resources.

For Grayling, the risk of seeing a new surge, Equivalent to the gold rush of the 19th century, Important. This is an unimaginable situation that could be exacerbated by national rivalries and greed. If a new resource becomes available, its extraction may stimulate international geopolitical tensions, especially in the absence of regulation.

Space can become Theater of new conflicts : Territorial disputes, unregulated exploitation, etc.

Towards equitable spatial governance?

According to Grayling, the absence of collective efforts will lead us directly to that Age of chaos, like the Wild West used to be. His book is a call to open a global dialogue in order to establish international consensus. Consensus that should, ideally, govern the exploitation of space resources. He takes the example of the Antarctic Treaty and the Law of the Sea Convention.

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These are interesting management models to consider as they relate to resources in the areas in which they are considered The common heritage of humanity. However, adapting these frames to the space will not be without problems and the context will be quite different from the other two.

today, The law of space is fragmented. Each country, in its own corner, issues national legislation in favor of its space ambitions. This framework suffers from the absence of global and internationally recognized arbitration mechanisms. It is an open door for confrontations and unilateral actions.

For Grayling, part of the solution lies in… Proactive approach to the issue. It is necessary to clarify the rights and obligations of all space actors, establish strict standards to regulate resource exploitation and, above all, build mechanisms for resolving potential conflicts that are adapted to the spatial context. The idea is to achieve enlightenment Balanced legal framework For everyone Space users, compatible with long range vision. Briefly, Prevent rather than treat. What is most urgent is that space does not become a new source of division. The task is expected to be daunting, but it is necessary so that everyone benefits from the positive effects of space.

  • Anthony Clifford Grayling in his work Who owns the moon? In defense of common human interests in space, It provides a reflection of our ability to manage lunar resources equitably.
  • Currently, the framework governing this exploitation is insufficient and may lead to conflicts between players in Space Conquest.
  • For Grayling, we need to regulate the sector better so the moon doesn't become a new Wild West.

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