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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Outer Space

Vladlen S Vereshchetin

Subject(s):
Spacecraft, satellites, and space objects

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 The term ‘outer space’, like several other basic notions of space law (‘outer space activity’, ‘space flight’, ‘space object’), although frequently used in space agreements and other space law instruments, has never been defined by them. There are a number of reasons for this, not least the objective difficulty for the States concerned to agree on legal definitions in the context of rapidly developing technology and their apprehension that legally binding definitions might restrict their sphere of operation. 2 The absence of a formal definition of outer space...
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