16 May 2022, Quito, Ecuador – The IAF Global Conference on Space for Emerging Countries – GLEC 2022 kicked off with a day full of insights for the emerging space countries.

IAF General Counsel and Full Professor of International Law at the Sapienza University of Rome, Sergio MARCHISIO, tipped off everyone at the beginning of a very knowledgeable masterclass on space policy and law, that “the legal aspect of setting up a space environment in an emerging country is of course very important, but it is even more relevant to have it responsive to the actual reality of the nation itself”. “Space legislation should seek to resolve a country’s indigenous challenges by exploring the opportunities that space exploitation has to offer” as also confirmed by Melanie MAJUMA MUNYORI, legal officer of the Kenya Space Agency, sharing the Kenyan experience in settling its agency.

However, “covering all legal aspects linked to the space domain is extremely challenging as, for instance, even in the USA, possessing one of the world’s most comprehensive space legislation, there is no official governing body for outer space activities but only for launch and return regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)” warned Steve MIRMINA, Senior Attorney at the Office of the General Counsel, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

A very useful tool in supporting a space emerging country is “the creation of a regional space governance, because it produces a stable regulatory environment and increases the influence of those participating countries to a global level” as suggested by Ludovica CIARRAVANO, Research Fellow in Space Law at the Sapienza University of Rome.

It has also been noticed, however, that the role of industries in emerging space countries is paramount and space enthusiasts in these countries must allow themselves to take risks like Matias CAMPOS, CEO & Founder of the Astralintu Space Technologies, who left his “stable job in Europe to follow [his] dream of bringing space to [his] home country, to Ecuador”. “Much can come from passionate visionaries” as IAF Incoming President, Clay MOWRY, recalled the stories of many space pioneers during his speech.

Following one’s vision has become even a little bit less difficult than before: “until a few years ago, young people with the ambition to work in space, from all around the world, looked at NASA and ESA for limited career opportunities. With New Space that has changed dramatically”, declared Peter MARTINEZ, Executive Director of the Secure World Foundation. Indeed, according to Joerg KREISEL, CEO of JKIC “New Space can help in some of the key societal challenges the world is currently facing like demographic changes, rapid communication, and geopolitics”. The next generation of space entrepreneurs should focus on infrastructure replenishment, environmental issues, food revolution and robotics!

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