Space Settlement

Space settlements, or at least, long term human outposts are becoming an increasingly popular topic within the space community. From ESA’s proposed Moon Village to Elon Musk’s dreams of cities on Mars the imaginations of many are being ignited. Therefore, there are a number of potential legal and policy issues to address. These range from how to over come the issues presented by Article II of the Outer Space Treaty (OST) and the non-appropriation principle codified within it to whether space settlers qualify as astronauts under the space treaties. But it also requires looking beyond the existing laws on activities in outer space, to issues of how to govern and run outpost and settlements in outer space. Furthermore, there are potential issues in the longer term around self-determination, identity, nationalism, and state creation. This requires a broader view than just legality especially with regards to nationalism, but the process for creating a state in space as well. The Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization recognizes the issue of space settlement as a key and vital component for humanity’s quest to become a spacefaring civilization, because a civilization without any permanent outposts, settlements, or, indeed, cities is, by definition not a civilization.

This work has been facilitated by the MBR Space Settlement Challenge and seed funding received from the Dubai Future Foundation but will be a permanent feature of the work of the Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization. If you are interested in sponsoring our continued work on the issue of space settlement, please contact us, we'd love to hear from you!

MBR Space Settlement Challenge

Space Settlement Governance:

An Analysis of Legal and Policy Issues


Read our Research Paper, Space Settlement Governance:

An Overview of Legal and Policy Issues

This project received seed funding from the Dubai Future Foundation

through the open research platform

You can find details of all the projects here and our grant proposal here