LEGAL OUTLOOK ON SPACE TOURISM
Author: R. Rebecca Vasanthini Percy, B.Com.,LL.B(Hons.) From The Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University, School of Excellence in Law.
Human beings have always craved for many things right from their cradlebed till their deathbed. Desires and cravings are never ending. In the olden days, humans desired to get communication and transportation very easily without getting harnessed so this desire let to the invention of telephones, mobiles, train, carts, television etc. After the surfacing of technology and invention of many new things, in the current scenario human beings are blessed with all types of resources and equipments and each and every individual right from the time they get up from the bed till they go to sleep, they can utilise all types of contrivance available in the society. When the power of invention and advancement of technology grew, the never ending satisfaction of human desires sprung up. We people tend to go to different sates, countries and continents to explore and to enjoy new things but what’s more interesting and great above all these things was thought by many of us and after going to world tour we feel like okay fine let’s start exploring what’s beyond the Earth. One such craving of mankind is to explore the space and to go for space tourism.
Human race travelling to space and experiencing it either directly or indirectly is termed as space tourism. It is catalogued into three dimensions namely,
Lunar space tourism
In the present scenario it is quite evident that already seven individuals have booked for a space tourism and had gone for a vacation for their personal pleasure and leisure. Presently, the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies (“Outer Space Treaty”), the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (“UN COPUS”), the Convention on International Civil Aviation (“Chicago Convention”), etc. governs the space tourism with their relevant provisions.
History of Space Tourism
In 1957, Sputnik I was launched fruitfully after which the Soviet Union wanted to capture the space race first and to lead it. Likewise, in April 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to go to space. A 108 minute orbital flight was made by Gagarin aboard the Vostok 1 spacecraft. Astronaut Alan Shepard in May 1961 became the first U.S. citizen to go to space. In 1960s human spaceflight was proven and in 1970s the concept of space tourism emerged. In 1980s non- government astronauts went to space and this space mission named space shuttle program was a success as 135 missions were launched and 355 people managed to go to space.
From 1990s again the concept of space tourism reappeared. Space Adventures Ltd. became the first company to take private consumers to space when they were interested in 1998. The second striking space tourism company was XCOR Aerospace in the year 1999. The ultimate motive of these companies was that money should not be the primary hindrance in getting into space and the customers whom they took to space have made tremendous wealth in the dot com bubble and tried to buy places in the space. There were six notable private and wealthy citizens who went to space. They are:
In 2002: A South African computer millionaire named Mark Shuttleworth went to space
In 2005: An American sensor hardware millionaire Gregory Olson went to space
In 2006: An Iranian-American software millionaire Anousheh Ansari took off to space
In 2007: A Hungarian-American software billionaire Charles Simonyi went to space and he again visited in 2009
In 2008: A British-American video-game millionaire Richard Garriott went for a vacation to space and
In 2009: A Canadian billionaire artist Guy Laliberté landed in space.
The emergence of commercial space tourism industry took place from 2010 onwards.
Space tourism in India
The space affairs in India are carried on in a rapid manner even though there is a huge lacuna in the space legislations. The space work is effectively carried on by ISRO. Chandrayan-I is the lodestar in the space activities undertaken by India. A space tourism system should have the following requisite elements:
Ample number of windows and place to fly must be there in the space vehicle which carry the passengers.
The acceleration level should be kept lower than 3G due to the medical curtailment.
The space tour should be limited to several hours only to avoid space illness.
Proper health check-ups must be undergone by each passenger before the tour.
It must be vital to meet the demand price figures.
An example complying with all the necessary requirements in the space tourism system was accomplished by Kawasaki and Fuji Heavy Industries in 1994.
Relation between Space tour and Insurance
In today’s world, as how humans go from one country to another country In flight it has become a common travel in space too. Since the travelling in space has become more frequent and common its high time that the insurance companies insure the passengers against any unforeseen event. It is indeed a good time to buy and have insurance for the spacecraft as market conditions are favouring with premium rates declining and the availability of three- four times of the demand.
Presently, space tours are emerging in nature but how far can this be firmly established in a country like India where there is no body of rules and laws to enforce the space legislation is a big question mark. Many Indian ministries have come up with thought provoking schemes to support this space tourism system in our country. Based on how competitive will this industry grow and how far it will be affordable to all the individuals present in the country, our country is still making a decision and very sooner or later they will be giving some positive outputs regarding the same. Hence its high time that India also develops this space adventure along with the other neighbouring countries and enforce laws and rules accordingly thereby fulfilling the wishes of many people in the country and also our country should take necessary measures to keep the fares at an affordable price thereby allowing every citizen of our country to get an experience of how the space looks like and to enjoy the glimpse of it.