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IASC 2021 Commons in Space Virtual Conference

February 24 - February 26

This conference aims to bring together scholars and practitioners on the commons in space. It will cover topics from the satellites and space debris increasingly congesting orbital space, mining of celestial bodies, diverse perspectives on space as a global commons, protection of dark night sky, going beyond Antarctica and High Sea regulations as models for space law, and much more.

The topic of outer space as global commons received a boost of attention by the April 2020 Executive Order of President Donald J Trump, declaring that outer space should not be viewed as a global commons. What are the implications of this perspective, as well as the increasing participation of private actors in space exploration? How do we create a fair use of the benefits of knowledge and innovations due to space research? How do we solve collective action problems to ensure the long-term sustainability of space exploration activities?

As a virtual conference within a series of conferences organized by the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC), we will facilitate a discussion between space scholars and scholars studying more traditional commons. What can we learn from governing shared resources on Earth to derive fair and productive outcomes when governing shared resources in space? And what can commons scholars, working on local and regional scales, learn from space commons that face governance on a scale beyond planet Earth? How can commons scholarship provide models for diverse stakeholder groups to have agency and voice as humanity takes important steps towards sustained human presence on the Moon, Mars and beyond?

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February 24
February 26
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