Can You Legally Travel to Space? An Expert's Guide

The Outer Space Treaty is the basis of international space law for signatory countries (108 in 2013). It's not illegal to go to space, but it's illegal to build a huge missile in the backyard and launch it without FAA authorization and without a flight plan. As opportunities to travel to space increase, it is inevitable that deaths occur in space or in another heavenly body. In 1960, the International Astronautical Congress met in Stockholm and heard several proposals, including a legal opinion poll on extraterrestrial jurisdiction conducted by Andrew G.Military service members and their families can use space-available flights (formerly known as Military Air Transport Command or MAC flights) to travel around the country and the world at little or no cost.

If Space-A travel isn't right for your plans, take advantage of TSA PreCheck to streamline your stay at the airport when you fly on commercial flights. With the right planning and documentation, Space-A trips can be the best way to take a trip with your family. Commercial spaceflight companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin now offer exclusive opportunities for celebrities and civilians to travel to space. Consult this travel page for up-to-date information, such as the type of identification you and your family must carry, the baggage allowance for checked and hand-held baggage, and prohibited items. The Legal Subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has been a principal forum for the debate and negotiation of international agreements related to outer space. In recent years, the Legal Subcommittee has been unable to reach a consensus on the debate on a new comprehensive space agreement (the idea, however, was proposed by only a few member States).

Since the Cold War, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (the Outer Space Treaty) and the International Telecommunication Union have served as a constitutional legal framework and set of principles and procedures that constitute space law. If mechanical faults are ruled out, commercial suppliers would have to consider their general duty of care with all travelers and assess whether they did everything possible to prevent the person's death. In addition to the legal dimension, missions that send humans to a larger part of the Solar System should consider the physical disposal of human remains. Starting in 1961, the General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution 1721 (XVI) and then 1802 (XVII), both entitled International Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, and Resolution 1962 (XVIII), or Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space. Although sometimes unpredictable, military flights are perfect for families with flexible plans and limited travel budgets. With proper planning and documentation, you can legally travel to space with ease.

Make sure you understand all applicable laws before embarking on your journey.

Jeannie Eschenbrenner
Jeannie Eschenbrenner

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