The Loh Down On Science

Laws in Space

University of Mississippi

Captain Kirk had it all.  Awesome ship, go-go boots, di-lithium crystals . . . and a lawyer?

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

No, no lawyer, but that was then.  These days, attorneys are the new space pioneers, boldly going where no litigation has gone before.  Because space law is one of the hottest growth areas in the legal profession.  Recently there have been unmanned moon landings, and there are more projected, by the likes of China, India, Japan, and Russia.  To divide up that lunar real estate?  Lawyers.  There’s even a Journal of Space Law.  

But problems of almost galactic proportions face these cosmic attorneys.  There's space junk falling on private property.  There's the increasing use of satellites for everything from telecommunications to military ops.  Some predict celestial traffic jams.  These will require space traffic laws! 

I for one am relieved there weren’t any lawyers back in the day. Bones would have been sued for malpractice!  Instead of Klingons, you'd have to call them angrily-abled hirsute individuals!  So “Thank God, Captain Kirk, thank God.”

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