Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the International Institute of Space Law 2009: 52nd Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space


On April 22, 2009, Bigelow Aerospace announced that the United States Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) had responded favorably to Bigelow's commodity jurisdiction request to ease its regulatory burden under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR). Prior to this decision by the DDTC, the presence of foreign nationals on a Bigelow space station would have been treated as an "export" of space technology under IT AR - thus requiring a license from the DDTC in addition to other burdens. Bigelow Aerospace's successful commodity jurisdiction request has removed these obstacles and, as a result, has breathed new life into the private spaceflight industry. The DDTC's ruling in this case may also signal a broader shift in the application of ITAR. At a minimum, the ruling is an encouraging indication of the DDTC's sensitivity to the needs of the commercial spaceflight industry, which could result in the continued relaxation of export controls over commercial space technology.