Space Law & Policy

Although quickly developing space technology and business models can outpace law and policy positions, domestic and international law and geopolitical considerations relating to outer space have a long history, are robust, and continue to develop.

Increasingly coordinating with the University of Michigan Space Institute, including the space education activities of the engineering, business, and policy schools, Michigan Law School currently has several space law and policy education activities.

Current Space Law & Policy Activities

Even when space exploration and operations were exclusively the domain of nation states, a multitude of international treaties, conventions and other agreements governed activities in space. As the private sector increasingly plays supporting and, in some cases, leading roles in the development of space, the applicability and interpretation of those international treaties are under review and stress. National security and economic considerations are now increasingly emphasized over peaceful exploration for scientific purposes, resulting in increasing geopolitical dynamics in space. Michigan Law School is focused on such issues in the Space Law & Policy Seminar as well as through several additional initiatives in development.

Developing Initiatives

  • A Problem-Solving Initiative (open to law, engineering, and business students) in which teams of students will evaluate various space debris removal technologies, national and international laws relating to space debris, and business models and financial incentives to encourage space debris removal.
  • The Michigan Space & Policy Center, which will partner with the university, the State of Michigan, federal agencies, and private-sector partners to research and advocate for certain laws, treaties, and policies relating to space.
  • Law School professors serve as Guest Speakers in classes at other schools (e.g., engineering and business) providing overviews of space law and policy matters.
  • Conducting Space Law & Policy Events at Michigan Law School to develop additional student-interest in space law & policy, featuring speakers from across the university, government, and the private sector.


Donald Moore

Donald Moore

Professor of Space Law & Policy, University of Michigan
+1 906 440 9540