The 1967 Outer Space Race

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The backdrop of the Cold War between the United States and The Soviet Union through the mid-to-late 20th century promoted multiple international policies that reflected the tensions and the hostilities between the bipolar world. The conflicts not only remained on Earth, but what has been termed as a “space race” occurred after the USSR launched the world’s first satellite, Sputnik, into orbit in October 4th, 1957. The politics of space seemed suddenly more vital than it ever had before, and serious political thought was contemplated. What could space have to offer that would benefit for humanity? As the two superpowers competed over the next decade, the questions became more difficult. Should space be regulated like territory on Earth? How…show more content…
Also known as the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, it was the first international treaty to lay the foundations for what States believed should be regulated practice and standards in the reaches of space. It would be followed by many others as the need for new changes or agreements would occur. The Outer Space Treaty begins with Article I, in which it states that the exploration of outer space should “…be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of countries…” and that the moon “shall be free for exploration and use by all states without discrimination of any kind…” This attitude and line of reasoning fit the paranoia of the Cold War age, and reflected the interests of powerful states; that no one should have any large advantage by being able to send satellites and other objects into space for non-peaceful purposes. Article IV goes on to specifically specify the banning of placing nuclear weapons in space, military bases, and testing of any kind related to the military. It was vital that the treaty explain and specify the difference between scientific and military research, and lay the line that States were not allowed to…show more content…
Would the military have a right to deploy weapons then? Not under the current terms of the treaty, no. As technology improves over the next several decades, or longer, the idea of civilian space travel is not so far-fetched. NASA is already planning a mission to Mars, and if missions see continued success, there is no doubt that States will invest their time, money, and resources to expand the space industry further. It needs time to develop before a decision can really be determined. Cooperation is still preferred and a must in the realm of space, but as space becomes more known, will it be possible that States will compete? Under the Outer Space Law, no State can claim sovereign territory in space, but that may very well come into conflict later on in time. The mainly potential of mineral gathering too, not banned by the Treaty would give rise to economic interest of
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