I hope that by this paper I can show that the body of knowledge concerning outer space, and the present capabilities of exploitation of space actually warrant immediate codification of boundaries of permissible extraterrestrial activities. The rate of change of acquisition of scientific knowledge and technological ability has increased geometrically since the end of the Dark Ages. From this it should be evident that, even if we feel that space does not warrant our legal consideration at this stage of development, the time of practical exploitation may be so close at hand that a prior formulation of policy and law concerning the peaceful uses of space is a wise matter if we wish to avoid the despoilation of a virtually virgin territory. Witness the chaotic ravaging of the New World in the 16th and 17th centuries as the result of unrestrained "development." Space must be saved from that fate.
Law of Outer Space - Summarized,
19 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at http://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol19/iss3/20