The Cold War, the Space Race, and the Law of Outer Space: Space for Peace tells the story of one of the United Nations' most enduring and least known achievements: the adoption of five multilateral treaties that compose the international law of outer space.
The story begins in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year, the largest ever cooperative scientific endeavor that resulted in the launch of Sputnik. Although satellites were first launched under the auspices of peaceful scientific cooperation, the potentially world-ending implications of satellites and the rockets that carried them was obvious to all. By the 1960s, the world faced the prospect of nuclear testing in outer space, the placement of weapons of mass destruction in orbit, and the militarization of the moon. This book tells the story of how the United Nations tried to seize the promise of peace through scientific cooperation and to ward off the potential for war in the Space Age through the adoption of the Outer Space Treaty, the Rescue and Return Agreement, the Liability Convention, the Registration Convention, and the Moon Agreement.
Interdisciplinary in approach, the book will be of interest to scholars in law, history and other fields who are interested in the Cold War, the Space Race, and outer space law.
Albert K. Lai is a member of the International Institute of Space Law, a global association that promotes the expansion of law in outer space.
Prologue: The International Geophysical Year
1. Right of Overpass
2. Making Space for Peace
3. Making Space for Disarmament
4. Non-Interference and Nuclear Weapons
5. The Declaration of Basic Principles
6. The Outer Space Treaty
7. Transition into Détente
8. The Peaceful Uses of Outer Space
9. The Commercial Uses of Outer Space
Epilogue: A Handshake in Heaven