Financing Space Ventures

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Handbook of Space Law (ed. Frans von der Dunk)


As private space activities expand on a number of fronts and the applications of space technology increase, the need for capital to fund these extremely expensive ventures will also grow. The international (and supranational) nature of space activities, coupled with the idiosyncratic features of transactions related to these activities, make the financing of space ventures a particularly complex and challenging area of law. Due to the nature of the new private actors in space, the finance structures used to fund their activity will likely depend increasingly on the reliability of the lender’s security interest in the space asset that is being financed. As a result, the law of secured transactions will play an ever more critical role in the financing of space ventures.

Chapter 16 explains the nature of finance transactions involving space assets and highlights the unique characteristics of these transactions. The existing landscape of secured transactions law is also described with particular attention paid to the current state of US law under Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and to the challenges that exist under current law. This is followed by a description of the recently concluded UNIDROIT Space Assets Protocol to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment (the Cape Town Convention), along with a discussion of how this new international treaty intersects with the existing international law of outer space.