Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Book Review: The Laws of Spaceflight: A Guidebook for New Space Lawyers

     As the field of space law continues to gain momentum more and more materials are being published. One of the more recent books, published by the American Bar Association (ABA), is The Laws of Spaceflight: A Guidebook for New Space Lawyers, by Matthew J. Kleiman, Jennifer K. Lamie, and Maria-Vittoria "Giugi" Caminati. Coming in at under 400 pages cover to cover this book covers a lot of information in a concise and readable manner. Its twelve chapters covers all of the basic information a person would need to know as they enter the field of space law. Each of the chapters are written to be read independently of one another making the book a handy reference for each of its topics.
     The first chapter provides an overview of spaceflight operations and covers basic orbital mechanics, spacecraft power and propulsion, satellites systems, hazards of the outer space environment, and practical applications of space technology. Chapters two, three, and four cover the history of spcaeflight, the international legal framework, and the development of U.S. space law respectively. Chapter five is one of the more interesting chapters as it discusses licensing commercial spaceflight and the jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The remaining chapters cover liability and insurance issues, licensing of private satellites, export control compliance, contracting with the U.S. Government, environmental issues, and property rights (real and intellectual). At the end of each chapter is a glossary of terms with definitions for easy reference. The appendix has the full texts of all of the international treaties and resolutions, along with a sample contract for launch services, U.S. munitions list categories IV and XV, sample technical assistance agreement, sample technology control plan, and standard practices and guidelines for space debris mitigation. The book concludes with a table of authorities and a comprehensive, usable index.
     Overal The Laws of Spaceflight is a well organized and thought out book. Practicing attorneys, attorney's new to space law, students, and academics will all find this book beneficial to build a foundational knowledge of space law and as a handy reference tool. Space Law Librarian gives this book 5 out of 5 stars.

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