There is a new space race underfoot. However, this space race is between private companies selling an outer space experience to ordinary yet wealthy individuals. The regulatory schemes created by countries have the power to promote or stifle this new space travel phenomenon. Currently, the United States is the only country with a regulatory framework in place for space travel of this type. A recent report by the United Kingdom (UK) proclaims that the UK has the possibility of becoming the European center for space travel. However, for this to be possible, the UK must have regulations promulgated by 2017. Further, the report recommends that, because the European Union (EU) may start to develop spaceplane regulation, the UK should wait for those regulations before taking action. This Note shows that the report's suggestion to wait for the EU to develop regulations is a mistake and argues that the most prudent decision for the UK is to promulgate national legislation modeled after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Space Transportation (AST) rule. Further, this Note discusses why the UK should not wait for the EU, how their temporary solution is not ideal, and why the UK's reasoning for not promulgating its own rules is unconvincing. Last, the Note addreses the benefits of adopting regulations similar to the FAA/AST's rule and how these outweigh any supposed problems.
The UK Should Lead -- Not Follow -- In Developing Contextual Regulations to Maximize Their Benefit in the New Space Race,
64 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol64/iss2/12