Monday Morning Message 9.13.21 The Sky is No Longer the Limit

Posted 2021-09-13 11:47am

“The sky is no longer the limit…”  -Motto of CSU C|M|LAW’s Global Space Law Center

 

“The more we go out there and spend time out there, all the things we do here are going to happen in space.” – CSU C|M|LAW Professor Mark Sundahl, New York Times, August 23, 2019, How a Bitter Divorce Battle on Earth Led to Claims of a Crime in Space 

In two days, the extraordinary is happening. On Wednesday morning, September 15 at 9 a.m. EST, four people will be launched by SpaceX into orbit for a three-day journey which will be the first all-civilian mission to orbit – a mission named Inspiration4.

Why is that relevant to our law school? Because our Global Space Law Centerfounded and directed by Professor Mark Sundahl, is the first law school center in the nation dedicated exclusively to the study of the law of outer space.

We are educating and training our students at CSU Cleveland-Marshall for jobs and careers that don’t yet exist, using technologies that have not yet been invented, to address challenges and opportunities that most people don’t yet even recognize.

The future of humanity in space is fraught with challenges that, perhaps surprisingly, are more legal than technological. The safety of passengers must be ensured, the orbital environment must be protected, and the peaceful allocation of limited natural resources must be regulated.

We provide our students with the rare opportunity to study the laws related to the expanding commercial space industry. From space tourism and reusable rockets, to satellite mega constellations and asteroid mining, our Global Space Law Center provides a multi-faceted educational ecosystem for the next generation space lawyer. Our student-staffed Research Council, the heart of our Center, influences the evolution of the laws and regulations governing space activity. As part of this unique program, our students conduct research, participate in international initiatives, and publish articles on the most pressing issues of space law.

The members of the Research Council, Anthony Ghazoul ‘22Hailey Hillsman ‘22, and Hailee Kepchar ‘22, are currently writing an article on the need for new regulations to govern private orbital spaceflight.  As of today, U.S. government agencies are operating in a legal void. The article has already been accepted for publication in the Notre Dame Law School’s Journal on Emerging Technologies.

In the recent past, members of the Research Council have been directly involved in various international space law reform initiatives, have appeared at conferences with Professor Sundahl, and have accompanied him to meetings at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. (where Professor Sundahl advises the NASA Administrator). The Center’s student-written STARLAW Blog was also recently ranked #2 among space law blogs worldwide (please visit the blog and subscribe to support our students!).

Next year, multiple private missions to the International Space Station will take place as a first step toward the construction of the first privately owned and operated space station – a project undertaken by Axiom Aerospace. In 2023, another privately funded mission, dearMoon, will see eleven individuals, including eight artists from various disciplines, circumnavigating our moon. The impact of these missions on human history will be profound. The paradigm-shattering reusable spacecraft that have been developed by private companies including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic have changed our relationship with space forever.

New vistas of space activity have been opened as business models that were impossible are suddenly possible. Companies are sprouting up to offer space tourism, on-orbit satellite refueling and repair, private space stations, and the harvesting of ice and minerals on the moon that will sustain a permanent lunar settlement. Mars is next. 

As the space industry continues to grow and turn today’s dreams into the jobs of the future, the ever-growing number of private space enterprises and governmental agencies will need knowledgeable and creative lawyers to resolve the complex legal issues that will arise.

I am proud that many of these lawyers will be graduates of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University thanks to our Global Space Law Center and Professor Mark Sundahl.

Our students have bright futures, and the sky is no longer the limit…

Stay safe. Stay healthy. Stay Committed to Living Justice.

Have a great day. Have a great week.

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My best,

Lee

Lee Fisher

Dean, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law | Cleveland State University
Joseph C. Hostetler-BakerHostetler Chair in Law

 

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