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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Moon and Celestial Bodies

Mahulena Hofmann

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 17 January 2021

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

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 The space race initiated by the Cold War (1947–91) led to an increased interest of space-faring nations in the conquest of the Moon. In 1958 the first man-made space object—Soviet ‘Luna 2’—and in 1969 the first human being—American Neil Armstrong—stood on its surface. Further exploration of outer space has opened up the possibility of settling on the Moon, exploiting its resources, and expanding human presence to other celestial bodies. These far-reaching plans required a legal framework which would make possible the coexistence of the then two military and...
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