Planets

Can Anyone Own Outer Space?

Countries have been fighting for their stake in outer space since the 1950s, but who regulates space travel? And who owns space?

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Space Law 101: An Introduction to Space Law (American Bar Association)
"On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched Earth's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. America's second-place finish in the first lap of the Space Race came as a great shock to most Americans, resulting in a complete rethinking of the U.S. space program and American science and technology policy. Few people realize that Sputnik also had far-reaching legal implications."

How to Get a Satellite to Geostationary Orbit (The Planetary Society)
"What's a transfer orbit? Is there a difference between geostationary and geosynchronous? Why is there such a wide range between the perigee and apogee? For help explaining all of this, I turned to Mike Loucks of The Astrogator's Guild."

Sputnik: How the World's 1st Artificial Satellite Worked (Space.com)
"By the 1950s, scientists all over the world realized that it was becoming practical to launch an object into a circular path around the Earth. In mid-1955, the United States announced that it would launch the first satellite to commemorate the International Geophysical Year in 1957. The Soviet Union realized that 1957 was the 40th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution."