Space Law

Space Law

The topic of Space law encompasses national and international law governing activities in outer space. While the Outer Space Treaty is one of the most important treaties that the U.S. is party to, some say that it is now antiquated because it does not take into account emerging private sector activities. This track will examines the relevance of the Outer Space Treaty in today’s world and other related issues, both domestic and international, relevant to today’s private and government sector space initiatives. Key areas of interest include the regulatory and legal regimes shaping private space launch, commercial asteroid mining and property rights, private sector operations on the moon, orbital debris and removal, spaceports and space tourism, and the Chinese movement towards their own national space law.



Chair: Kelly C. Smith, M.S., Ph.D., Da.D.

Kelly received his M.S. in Zoology (Evolutionary Genetics) from Duke University in 1992, followed by his Ph.D. in Philosophy in 1994. He wears several different professional hats, with joint appointments in Clemson’s department of Biological Sciences and as a C. Calhoun Lemon Fellow of our Rutland Institute for Ethics. In 2012, he was appointed to the faculty of the University of South Carolina Medical School in Greenville, where he oversees their ethics curriculum. Kelly’s research is similarly wide ranging and includes work on the concept of genetic disease; the relationship between religious faith and scientific reasoning; the ethical implications of new biotechnologies; complex systems in developmental and evolutionary biology; the origins and nature of life and philosophical issues surrounding the search for life on other planets. His regular teaching rotation currently includes Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL 1010), Logic (PHIL 1020), Evolution and Creation (PHIL 2100) Science and Values (PHIL 3260), and a seminar on Kant (PHIL 4020). He occasionally teaches other courses such as Environmental Ethics (PHIL 345), Medical Ethics (PHIL 346), Philosophy and Biology (PHIL/BIOSC 485/685), The Philosophical Foundations of Science and Calhoun Honors seminars such as The Lure and Fear of Biotechnology.