Recently, the world’s first space crime incident came to light, in which an astronaut of the US space agency NASA (NASA) was accused of using his computer with a partner in the International Space Station (ISS). Has tried to hack into private bank account. It is noteworthy that investigation of this first case of space crime is going on and the entire proceedings in this case are being done on the basis of Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) of International Space Station. But this case has encouraged discussion on a situation in the world that does not come under the jurisdiction of the IGA, as well as the need to implement the new rules as soon as possible in this context.
ISS legal framework and space crime
- It is worth noting that the International Space Station (ISS) has a legal structure built on three levels of the International Cooperation Agreement.
- The Inter-Governmental Agreement of the International Space Station is an international treaty signed on January 29, 1998 by the 15 governments involved in the space station project, also commonly known as the IGA. This government-level document sets out the framework for cooperation between partner nations on the design, development, operation and use of the space station.
- Also included in this framework are 4 MoUs between NASA and four other space agencies. The main purpose of this agency-level agreement is to determine the role of agencies in the design, development and operation of the space station. In addition to NASA, it includes the following agencies:
- European Space Agency (ESA)
- Canadian Space Agency (CSA)
- Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)
- Various bilateral implementation arrangements have been established among space agencies to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Under this, guidelines are set for national agencies and work is distributed among them.
- Article 22 of this agreement deals with matters related to judicial jurisdiction. According to the agreement, the countries concerned with the conviction in any criminal case at the space station will have the right to enforce their judicial rules.
- It is noteworthy that US laws are being implemented in the first case of space crime, because she was representing America at the astronaut space station.
New rules required
- Many legalists believe that in view of the increasing human access to space, it cannot be denied that there will be many such cases in the future which will be beyond the reach of the present agreement.
- Significantly, recently, NASA officials announced that parts of the ISS will be opened for commercial use.
- This type of move can encourage many activities such as production of films, advertisements and space tourism in space.
- In such a situation it becomes imperative that this agreement is capable of dealing with disputes arising due to commercial use of space. Experts believe that since it is an agreement at the level of governments and agencies, it is not designed to deal with this type of situation.
Rules of Administration of Space
- A variety of provisions have been made for the orderly administration of space at the international level, the main of which are:
- The Outer Space Treaty, signed in 1967, allows member countries to use outer space for peaceful purposes. At the same time, this treaty prohibits the deployment of such weapons in space, which are massacres. Be aware that India is a part of this treaty from the beginning.
- After the initiative of the Soviet Union in 1979, the Moon Agreement was signed by various nations. This agreement prohibits the investigation or use of all astronomical objects without the permission of other nations.
- The Rescue Agreement was adopted in 1967 by the United Nations General Assembly. According to this agreement, it is the responsibility of all nations to make every effort to rescue all the threatened astronauts and bring them back to their country.
- The Liability Convention was adopted by the UN General Assembly in the year 1971. According to this, if there is any damage to another country in space due to a space object of a country, only the country concerned with the space object will be responsible for paying its compensation.
India is also building a space station
- It is noteworthy that in June 2019, Indian Space Research Organization chairman K.K. It was announced by Siwan that India is contemplating building its own space station in space by the end of this decade i.e. by 2030.
- In the year 2017, India had made a budget provision for research on technology like space docking. This technique is necessary to connect the modules used in the space station. Since then, discussions of the Indian Space Station had become very fast.
- According to experts, the weight of this station will be 20 tons which is much lighter than ISS (450 tons) and Chinese space station (80 tons) and 4-5 astronauts will stay in this station for 15-20 days. This station is about 400 km in low Earth orbit (LEO). Will be installed at a height of.
- Space is considered the gateway to many future possibilities. India can reap economic benefits by participating in these possibilities. However, to get these benefits, India will also need a wide framework of rules.
- Given the increasing use of space, the need for a comprehensive law to deal with every situation of potential crimes cannot be ruled out.
- At present, the world has many laws governing the administration of space, but there is no law that can address criminal cases arising out of the commercial use of space.
- Because commercial use of space, all the jurisdictions will reach the space.
- It is necessary to adopt regulations that can address the changing needs of space science.
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