Space law, as a body of law, comprises a wide range of legal areas such as contract, business, compliance, aviation, environmental, intellectual property, and international law. Additionally there are mutli-national agreements that were entered into by various national governments that convey rights or responsibilities unto their citizens.
If you have a company that is a supplier or provider to any space agency or company you should speak to a space attorney to discuss what domestic laws and international treaties apply to your company.
Contracts & International Agreements
There are two main areas of contracts related to outer space: those that a private party enters into and those which they are part of due to the acts of their nation. From a private party standpoint these are contracts that involve domestic and international contract law provisions but also must take into account any requirements due to international agreements of the State which apply to the private party.
What goes up must come down – unless it made it all the way to orbit. Even then it is possible for space objects to reenter Earth’s atmosphere and due to international treaties the nation, and the various companies acting on behalf of the nation, that put the object into space are responsible for any environmental issues that might develop due to the object’s reentry.
General International Law
Due to the fundamental “international” aspect of space it is only logical that nations have entered into international treaties that govern space exploration and its various aspects. Currently there are five international treaties, one international agreement (governing the International Space Station), and five international declarations set forth by the United Nations in regards to how the exploration of, and research from, space are to apply to all nations.