War in Space pp 87-106 | Cite as

Who Controls Space and How

  • Linda Dawson
Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)


The Earth’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched by the Soviet Union on October 4, 1957. It changed the world forever. At that moment, United States space policy and goals were completely refocused on the race to the Moon. During this time, there was an obvious need to determine the legal status of objects in outer space. Perhaps outer space could be considered an extension of governed airspace from Earth’s surface up to orbit. If this were the case, the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik would have been seen as a violation of international law. The satellite passed over many countries, including the United States. President Eisenhower, knowing that the US would be interested in having its own spacecraft operating over Soviet territory, accepted that the rules of outer space would be different from controlled airspace and aircraft.


Earth’s atmosphere levels Escape velocity Peaceful uses of outer space (COPUOUS) Outer space treaty The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Act The U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act Remote sensing principles Nuclear power sources principles Benefits declaration Rocosmos Moon express Mining for profit The Space Resource Exploration and Utilization Act 

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Linda Dawson
    • 1
  1. 1.Senior Lecturer EmeritusUniversity of WashingtonTacomaUSA

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