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Jeff, why do you continue to humor Mr. O'Brien and allow him to re-hash the same politically & legally unfounded polemic every few months with an article promoting the Moon Agreement with thin and convoluted arguments? It gives the impression that there is actually some debate about the Moon Agreement being a good idea somehow... as though there are two sides of the debate.
The indeterminate, inconsistent, and subjective nature of the Moon Agreement is precisely why it is a poorly finalized treaty. Again, we need to move on, and do better.
'Neither the surface nor the subsurface of the Moon, nor any part thereof or natural resources in place, shall become property of any State, international intergovernmental or non-governmental organization, national organization or non-governmental entity or of any natural person.'
I stand by what I wrote. Politically, the Moon Agreement is haunted. Let it be. We need to move on, and do better.
It's also true that SWF has significant engagement with COPUOS and other multilateral initiatives. And yes, we always try to keep our comments and remarks constructive :)
And then reading the most recent draft of the guidelines that are publicly available, which is at http://bit.ly/2uYRLMf
(but keeping in mind that that document is just a snapshot of where we are at in the process)
* I don't know the details so don't take my word for it, but I believe there were (for both space objects), multiple states which could be considered the launching state. Further research would be required to determine more.
* Also unfamiliar with the particulars, but I'd refer you to an issue of the Journal of Space Law from 1978 which dealt with the issue in detail. http://www.spacelaw.olemiss.edu/jsl/pdfs/back-iss... The caveat to that is that since then, more details may have come to light, from all sides and parties involved.
* As with any international legal avenues for enforcement & redress, legal options are considered within the context of all political options. This is a deep area of discourse and I'm tempted to mention some authors and texts, but I won't prejudice the development of your own opinions with my views. I will say that different postures are taken depending on whether we are dealing with the enforcement of international economic law (though WTO arbitration, for example) versus other areas of international law such as laws related to international peace and security.
While it's true that "Life is full of activities, from brushing one’s teeth to playing a musical instrument, which take place now with neither federal authorization nor federal supervision. Just because those activities take place in outer space does not have to mean that they suddenly require oversight.” It is also equally true that under Articles VI and VII of the Outer Space Treaty, states bear international responsibility for all national activities in outer space, and potential international liability for any physical damages caused by space objects of which they are the launching state. This direct imputation of international responsibility and international liability for nongovernmental activities under space law is unique in international law, and gives a clear and strong impetus and rationale for governments to scrutinize proposed space activities for which they will be responsible for on the international plane to other states party to the various space treaties. If a nongovernmental space activity would implicate a state's international responsibility (by, for example, transgressing that state's international obligations under space law as well as other areas of international law) that activity is worth close and thoughtful consideration.