Some may recall the quarantine endured by the crew of Apollo 11 upon their return from the Moon, but do they also remember the official declaration forms and quarantine that the crew had to sign upon their return from the Moon at the Honolulu airport? The cargo they declared, alongside their quarantine, was undoubtedly a first: "Moon rock and moon dust samples". Not only was this was a tangible example of space law jurisdictional issues; it was also a clear presage to the forthcoming effects of regulation and jurisdictional choice upon future commerce on the Moon. Regulation is a tool to either enable or to restrict commerce, and applicable regulation is determined by the choice of jurisdiction.
How will you watch Netflix on the Moon? On your iPhone? Will you iPhone be licensed to work there? In fact, how will you conduct any commerce on or from the Moon, whether in a private or civil settlement? It’s not that simple as the answer depends upon whose law you are working and residing under, as do those laws and regulations allow you to conduct commerce on the Moon?
This paper provides an original extensive list of the questions that must be addressed in order to make lunar commerce a reality.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
Jay Honeycutt serves as an Ambassador for Port of Cape Canaveral and is a former member of the Advisory Council to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Jay retired as President of the Lockheed Martin Space Operations Company and prior to that he served as the Center Director of the NASA Kennedy Space Center drawing from a career with NASA spanning the Apollo, Space Shuttle, and International Space Station programs.
Michael Potter is a Senior Fellow of the Institute of Space Commerce who has published many papers and articles on the economics and law of space. An award wining Film Maker, Founder of Geeks Without Frontiers, Michael serves on the US FCC’s Broadband Advisory Commission and is a graduate of both the London School of Economics and the International Space University.
Christopher Stott is Founder, Chairman and CEO of ManSat, the world’s largest commercial provider of satellite spectrum, and is also a published fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Member of the International Institute of Space Law.