Who Owns Space and Why should we care - 31st May 2022

Seminar Room 1, Department of Earth Sciences, 3 South Parks Road

who owns space and why


In two generations, our view of space has gone from the realms of science fiction to a business opportunity. Space is no longer only accessible to the world’s superpowers, private companies and smaller nations are all beginning  Satellites form an integral part of our global communication and navigation systems and provide an enormous amount of data for scientists to study both our earth and outer space. However, this leads to a risk of dependence on privately controlled research and data. The sustainable use of space is also a pressing issue, as the growing number of satellites is causing low Earth orbit to fill up with ‘space junk’, which can collide with active satellites and manned spacecraft. More recently, proposals for lunar and asteroid mining have raised ethical and legal questions: who owns the rights to exploit the moon, what are the environmental consequences, and what are the impacts on future generations? UN treaties formulated during the Cold War are ill-equipped to deal with the implications of commercial ventures; this seminar will address some of the key issues that need to be explored.

  1. Public Impacts of Space Activities
  2. Legality of near-earth orbit l
  3. Legality of outer space territory
  4. Should space research be privatised?

The Panel

Our guests for the panel discussion include professionals who are working within the Space Industry including:

Eddie Ross, Knowledge Exchange Manager at Satellite Applications Catapult

James Blake, Research Fellow at the Centre for Space Domain Awareness within the University of Warwick & Secretary for Global Network On Sustainability and Awareness and

David Lehman, Researcher and Oxford Space Initiative Coordinator at the Saïd Business School


Please register at the eventbrite link

A zoom link will be provided for those who prefer to attend virtually