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Private space travel is making headlines – and Mark Sundahl, associate professor and associate dean for administration at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, is an internationally recognized expert on the laws governing this rapidly growing industry.
The U.S. Secretary of Transportation recently appointed Sundahl to the Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee (COMSTAC), which advises the Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation regarding new regulations for private space activity.
“One of the more exciting things we’re involved with is the development of new regulations governing commercial human spaceflight,” said Sundahl, whose space law course at Cleveland-Marshall is one of the few such college courses in the country. “Now, for the first time, private companies are on the verge of suborbital and orbital space tourism. The law is lagging a little behind the technology, so the FAA is creating regulations to ensure that space-tourism companies meet certain standards.”
Sundahl has served as assistant secretary of the International Institute of Space Law, headquartered in Paris, and was a member of the working group charged with drafting a new international treaty on the finance of satellites and other space assets: the UNIDROIT Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment. In 2012, he coordinated the 55th annual Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space in Naples, Italy.
Sundahl has lectured around the world on space law and his writings on the subject have appeared in leading academic journals. He also has made numerous media appearances in The New York Times and other outlets.
Sundahl holds a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and a Ph.D. in classics from Brown University. Prior to joining the faculty at Cleveland-Marshall, he was an associate in the International Transactions Group at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP in San Francisco.