Talk:Outer Space Treaty

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Which senate[edit]

Which senate? Clarify. SD6-Agent 12:26, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Outer Space Treaty[edit]

Inserting an interpretation that treaty did not mention "all other weapons" ("not just the placement or use of weapons in orbit") and not necessarily capable of being or is "weapons of mass destruction". How about defining "peaceful purposes" ?

Re above: The USA prosecuted the remaining Marathon bomber for using a "weapon of mass destruction" (a pressure cooker packed with explosives). What then can we say of the 12th in the series of Keyhole Satellites which is armed with maser weaponry capable of focusing two maser beams on a ground target one meter wide? Then there is the short term orbital K-UBAN. It can (and has) send a lased X-ray beam through a momentary column of vacuum (created by an extremely powerful maser blast) through the armor and engine block of a tank over 300 miles below. If a pressure cooker bomb is considered by the US to be a "weapon of mass destruction", then the USA (probably among others) has violated the International Agreement Banning Weapons from Space. (talk) 03:43, 28 October 2015 (UTC)


This article is extremely POV, and i am about to fix it. I know a bit about the subject from the selling space article, and there are some factual ommissions and inaccuracies too. THE KING 07:18, 7 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Removing POV seems to have made this page the subject of a low-level edit war. What is a practical way to calm this down? Anonymous--11:39, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

I want to suggest removing the link from this article, because I am regarding it as unethical to sell property which isn't owned by anyone. Consequently, I find this FAQ highly questionable, and imho it doesn't add to the plausibility of said article. Digital Dan 08/07/2006, 22:07 (UTC + 1)

You are absolutely correct; I have removed the link. siafu 21:42, 7 August 2006 (UTC)


The colour of the legend for 'signed and ratified' countries has been changed from light green to green, on account of the former's closeness to the grey used for countries that are not signatories. It is still a bit too dark, but requires someone with a better knowledge of the colours used in the legend template to simulate the green in the diagram better. -- Sasuke Sarutobi 03:47, 29 January 2006 (UTC)


What countries signed the outer space treaty? Did all the countries of the UN sign it?

   That information is available here:

The above link is invalid NJackson300 (talk) 22:49, 1 April 2012 (UTC)


The entry for 1967 has two different dates for the signing of the treaty, 27 Jan and 27 Feb. Which is it, someone who knows? Thanks. --Myke Cuthbert 15:34, 31 May 2006 (UTC) For which countr(y/ies)? Did all signatories sign it at once? MrZaiustalk 18:00, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

The treaty was completed on January 27, 1967, but did not come into force until October 10, 1967. This is according to the footnote in Prof. Wayne White's The Legal Regime for Private Activities in Outer Space. siafu 18:25, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Peaceful Purposes[edit]

The article says "However, the Treaty does not expressly prohibit the placement or use of weapons in orbit, so long as they are for peaceful purposes." What exactly is considered a peaceful purpose for a space weapon? The terms seem contradictory. Kevin 00:18, 25 December 2006 (UTC)

See Laser broom for an example of that one. 15:05, 27 June 2007 (UTC)
It's the first time I stumble on this page and I'm correcting a few mistakes, and this is one of them: the treaty forbids nuclear weapons and WMD's in orbit, but not anything else, and as far as peaceful purposes go, this seems to be restricted to the moon and celestial bodies. This was drafted in the light of allowing eg military personel on a scientific base. BatistPaklons (talk) 18:28, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

to destroy incoming asteroids that would obliterate humanity? (talk) 23:42, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

Giant Helium-filled bananas.[edit]

"A test (of sorts) of the Outer Space Treaty is being put forward by Canadian artist Cesar Saez's project to float a giant helium-filled banana over Texas in 2008, a very serious project supported by the Canada and Quebec Arts Councils. The Michigan consulting firm of nearSpace Technology is also involved in the project.[1]"

The above is copied from the article. Can someone explain to me in what way floating a giant Helium-filled banana over Texas constitutes a contravention of this treaty? Is it considered a weapon of mass destruction? Or is this paragraph just an attempt to publicise an un-related arts project? ColourSarge 12:43, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

  • lol, I think its just to see if they would bother with something so silly (talk) 23:35, 9 February 2011 (UTC)


much of this article is copied from this site —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:03, 4 January 2008 (UTC)

That is a copyright-free U.S. government article so it is alright to use here. Rmhermen (talk) 04:20, 1 February 2008 (UTC)


North Korea signed and ratified the treaty earlier this month.[1] (talk) 01:13, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

You're right. I edited the image page and this article to point that out. I'm not sure how to edit the image itself, though. Esn (talk) 09:10, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

external link went 404[edit]

removed from article —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mt1955 (talkcontribs) 20:41, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

common heritage of mankind vs. res communis omnium[edit]

According to Currie, the words "for the benefit and in the interests of all countries" does not mean that outer space is "common heritage of mankind", but rather "res communis omnium" (communal use of all). I've noticed quite a view articles that come up on Google use the two concepts interchangeably. Can someone clarify this?

Reference: Curie, John H. Public International Law, Toronto: Irwin Law Inc., 2001. pp. 285-286, 287 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:09, 14 August 2009 (UTC)

or, in simpler terms, the moon is UN territory (talk) 23:37, 9 February 2011 (UTC)

More like, the treaty purports that mankind as a whole owns the entire universe. Which would be awkward if we find that other planets are inhabited. (talk) 07:14, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Outer space & res communis[edit]

I deleted the section "Effect of the Outer Space Treaty." You can see the text of the section here: [diff]. The content amounted to some guy's (or gal's) opinions on the treaty -- that all outer space territories should be public property and belong to everyone without any one nation actually having rights or claim over it. That all sounds great, but Wikipedia isn't the place for writing legal or philosophical or legal/philosophical essays on res communis (i.e. public domain) and its applications in the realm of outer space. Similarly, the articles U.N. Convention on Law of the Sea and Admiralty law aren't the places to expound upon whether there should be national rights/claim over the sea. If there's a source-able debate on this among legal/maritime law/international relations professionals, then write about it, and document it. Otherwise, this material can't be kept. From a scholarly perspective, there is certainly legitimate philosophical argument to be made; I just don't think the actual parties -- the representatives of governments around the world who negotiate with one another -- actually care about scholarly, philosophical arguments. Furthermore, any "scholarly argument" needs sourcing and to pass a notability litmus test. This one didn't. ask123 (talk) 03:58, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

That's our Newt![edit]

Wouldn't Newt Gingrich's future Moon state violate the Outer Space Treaty? I think so, but I am not blessed with the intellect of Newter, he of the inevitable Presidency.-- (talk) 01:09, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

- You do realize the treaty isn't worth the paper its written on right? The instant that any nation obtains practical and cheap space flight is going to withdraw from both the outer space treaty and moon treaty. All Newt did was show the truthful future position that we will see.

Number of parties[edit]

The article claims that there are 100 parties, as at October 2011, citing this resource: [2]. That page links to [3] which states that there are 101 parties, as at 1 January 2011. The same website also provides a database[4] but it doesn't seem to be working correctly so I cannot check when the last signatory was added.

Can anyone illuminate the discrepancy? I would be bold and update the figure, except that the article claims the data to be accurate to October 2011 which was after the source says it was updated. sroc (talk) 15:36, 6 October 2012 (UTC)

Private parties[edit]

What about private parties, are they subject to the Outer Space Treaty? --JorisvS (talk) 12:49, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

See Space law#National law: "The Outer Space Treaty requires parties to authorize and supervise national space activities, including the activities of non-governmental entities such as commercial and non-profit organizations." So the answer is yes, private parties are not allowed to flout the treaty. JustinTime55 (talk) 14:55, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
You should have just read this article more closely; we covered this in the Responsibility for activities in space section when you asked the question in November 2012.JustinTime55 (talk) 15:11, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
@JustinTime55: Not so much. The "Key points" section says "The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet". Phrased this way, it suggests that only countries are forbidden from mining asteroids. But in the actual document, things may be phrased subtly enough that it could interfere with private enterprises wanting to mine asteroids (but I don't know). Hence my question. --JorisvS (talk) 15:32, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
JustinTime55 directed you to look at the Responsibility for activities in space section, not the Key points section. The article clearly answers your question in the former. TDL (talk) 16:30, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
@Danlaycock: Care to explain the legalese written there, then? --JorisvS (talk) 18:30, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Sure. Can you clarify which part of "... States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities" you don't understand? TDL (talk) 18:56, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
"bear responsibility". What does that mean for private parties with respect to what they can and cannot do? --JorisvS (talk) 19:14, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
It means that the government of a state party is liable for any violations committed by private parties. TDL (talk) 21:43, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
So private parties would be subject to it just as much? What if a private party goes to an asteroids and extracts resources, would this be considered to violate "The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet, claiming that they are the common heritage of mankind.", even though this says "government"? --JorisvS (talk) 00:24, 19 October 2015 (UTC)


(This question is a continuation of this question, but since there's a shift in topic, I've split it.)

Does the treaty address what is to be done if, say, one superpower wants to terraform Mars, and another doesn't?

And (this is going slightly sci-fi, but it could happen, you never know, so I'll ask it anyway) in a similar vein, does the treaty address what is to be done if we meet intelligent life - i.e. does the treaty specifically forbid any one superpower from taking it upon themselves to speak for the entirety of humanity? Thanks! BigSteve (talk) 19:39, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

Map Colors[edit]

If someone were Red-Green colorblind they wouldn't be able to read the map very well. Also, for those of us who aren't the colors are obnoxious together and sort of bother the eye to stare at too long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2602:302:D13C:6BF0:A56C:B049:C529:64A6 (talk) 07:08, 10 October 2015 (UTC)