AbstractThe paper emphasizes that outer space has become an object of interest for different states
relatively recently. Therefore, there is no detailed international law to regulate the activity of
states in outer space. Current regulations were mainly drawn up at the turn of the 1960s, and
they do not fully correspond to the reality of today. The drawing up of modern space law will
be a dynamic process owing to the rapid evolution of space technology and an increasing exploration potential. As the activity of states in outer space is rapidly changing, laws to be
drawn up may frequently be prepared ad hoc, in response to the newly emerging problems.
It may be exceptionally difficult to enact a new convention to regulate general issues of
outer space, in the way it has been done with respect to the law of the sea, as some countries (in
particular the United States) may oppose the limitation of their plans to explore and utilize
outer space. In order to maintain peace and balance, it may be necessary to establish a new international
organization for the purpose of dealing with outer space. This organization would
provide a forum to solve disputes, such as those concerning the development of satellite systems,
the principles of teledetection, or armaments in space. A considerable portion of
inter-state disputes concerning outer space will have to be solved by bilateral agreements,
reached through a compromise, as there are no specialized organs authorized to act in the
realm of outer space.
A dynamically conducted exploration of outer space depends on the amount of expenditure
allocated to the space programs of individual states. The amount of financing available is
influenced by the economy (at the time of the slowdown that began in 2008 space agencies
have had to envisage limited budgets). The prestige of space exploration is an aspect of particular
importance. In order to increase its importance in the international arena, states are ready
to allocate considerable means for spectacular space activities. It can be observed at present
that states are increasingly competing with each other for prestige rather than for strategic purposes.
This can easily be observed with respect to the developing countries, such as China and
The pace of activities in space will be influenced by the ability of the states to cooperate.
The specific nature of great space investments usually requires huge expenditure, therefore it
would be advantageous to combine the financial contributions of various states. Joint projects
would promote peaceful utilization of outer space.
Przegląd Politologiczny, 2010, nr 2, s. 109-125.