August is Space Law Month at the Harris County Law Library. We’re marking the event with a special Space Law exhibit and providing supplementary online content that’s outta this world! Visit our downtown location throughout the month to view the exhibit, which features a number of primary law resources (listed below) and related visual content, which you can find on NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory website and download for personal use.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, contained in the United States Statues at Large, Pub. L. No. 85-568, 72 Stat. 426-438, established NASA and marked America’s official entry into the Space Race.
- The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14: Aeronautics and Space details the purpose, function, and organization of NASA as mandated by Congress.
- To accommodate the large number of astronauts who live in Texas, the Secretary of State adopted special rules, spelled out in the Texas Administrative Code §81.35, that authorize NASA to implement procedures for casting ballots in outer space.
- The Outer Space Treaty, the multilateral agreement that established the governance of state activities in the exploration and use of outer space, was signed by more than 100 countries. It was first proposed by the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in August of 1966, making this the 50th anniversary of its conception.
Article I, which captures the spirit of the Outer Space Treaty, is excerpted here. As we recognize this sentiment of equality, good will, adventure, and cooperation, the Harris County Law Library invites you to explore our resources. Plan your visit today!
“The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.
Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.
There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.”