As space exploration technology advances and more private actors engage in independent space activities, national governments and international organizations need to reform and modernize their approach to regulating private space activities in order to better capture and distribute the benefits of those activities. This paper examines several disparate suggestions and ideas found in 38 articles ranging from current space policy literate to international treaties in order to generate four possible policy approaches to private space activities: the Status Quo, Self-Regulation, New International Treaties and Expanded Public-Private Partnership models. It then compares and contrasts these four alternatives to determine which can co-exist, which are mutually exclusive and offer a policy recommendation for resolving the current deadlock in international space policy. Ultimately, governments need to work in close partnerships with their national private space sectors to better regulate those sectors on a nation-by-nation basis now, while new space treaties and policies are created to better deal with the emerging future of private space activities.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Astronautics--International cooperation; Space law; Conflict of laws--Private companies

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Science, Technology and Public Policy (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Public Policy (CLA)


Eric Hittinger

Advisor/Committee Member

Qing Miao

Advisor/Committee Member

Mihail Barbosu


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes