Harnessing Artificial Intelligence Technologies for Sustainable Space Missions: Legal Perspectives

Steven Freeland, Anne Sophie Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review


Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents an opportunity, but also a challenge, for the future of space activities and its legal framework. Expanding connectivity and symbiotic interaction between humans and intelligent machines raises significant questions for the rule of law, including the liability regime in case of damage arising from actions undertaken through the utilization of increasingly advanced AI in space missions. Artificial Intelligence technologies also encompass a series of possibilities for space sustainability. We describe the legal issues brought by this technology, and then focus specifically on AI systems for space operations, which entail questions about how these interact with existing legal concepts and technical standards. We address the role of AI for space sustainability, especially in relation to how it can support the implementation of the 2019 UNCOPUOS Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Space Activities. We also discuss how space law is relevant and applicable to AI use in the context of sustainable space operations, including autonomous action to avoid collisions in orbit and space traffic management to limit orbital congestion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArtificial Intelligence for Space: AI4SPACE: Trends, Applications, and Perspectives
Place of PublicationBoca Raton
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9781003820215, 9781003366386
ISBN (Print)9781032432441
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023
Externally publishedYes


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