Chicago Journal of International Law


By the year 2020, humans will return to the moon and do much more than simply explore its surface. It is anticipated that an infrastructure will be developed to encourage space tourism and commercial operations. The effective use and management of the moon, Mars, and other celestial bodies and their resources are integral to the economic development of space and the expansion of business and industrial enterprise there. In January 2004, President George W. Bush announced his vision for the future of space exploration and the development of space resources and infrastructure. This vision is infused with "A Renewed Spirit of Discovery" aimed at exploring the moon, Mars, and beyond. It also encourages space-based commerce and industry. Later that month the President created the Commission on Implementation of United States Exploration Policy ("Commission"). This Commission held public hearings and heard testimony from individuals in industry, education, media, and. various agencies and professional organizations on ways to expand space exploration, discovery, and commercialization by private entities. In June 2004, the Commission published numerous recommendations in its final report, including ways to streamline and reorganize NASA. These recommendations called for greater reliance on private industry in space operations, reducing NASA's involvement "to only those areas where there is irrefutable demonstration that only government can perform the proposed activity." The Commission also addressed ways in which the government could engage private industry and expand commercial involvement in space. [CONT]