Gibson Law Group - August 2021


Earlier this year, Russia announced it would abandon its missions to the International Space Station in favor of a new, Russia-only station orbiting Earth. At the same time, China has begun working in earnest on its own permanent space installation, raining construction debris down on coastal Africa and other places. With private American interests gaining traction in orbit (and the confidence of our government), things are getting awfully crowded up there — and not by actors that typically play well together. ARE WE HEADED FOR THE FIRST WAR IN SPACE? ‘SPACE LAW’

All of which begs the question: Will the 21st century see the first violent conflict in space?


We have to delve into “space law” (yes, it’s really called that) to understand this question. It started in the 1940s and ‘50s, when the USSR launch of Sputnik signaled a new ground for scientific competition in the Cold War, as well as fears of more direct, armed conflict. The landmark “Outer Space Treaty’’ of 1967 was the response, and nations continued to deal with space concerns until the end of the century. The general principles were those of cooperation and goodwill, and that made sense in the 20th century, when it was unlikely any power would be able to seriously colonize stations in orbit or the moon itself, nevermind other planets. But in the past 20 years, many countries have been unwilling to seriously commit to more specific agreements or laws. When you see the rapidly increasing presence many countries are seeking in orbit, you start to understand why. Nobody wants to hamstring themselves and compromise their interests when the resources of our solar system are made available through technology. Even though this may be a new arena, the problem is an old one. International Law — of which “space law” is a subset — is not typically enforceable and never has been. Private ventures, like those of Elon Musk, may face crackdown by their governments or the international community. But nations themselves will take what they want, when they want it — and right now, that could make peace on the final frontier a long shot in the 21st century.

Inspired by

Bon Appétit magazine calls tomato and watermelon “soul mates,” and they’re right! This surprising gourmet salad will be a hit at your next barbecue.


• 4 cups seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes • 2 heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes • 8 oz feta cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes • Sea salt, to taste

• 1 tsp peppercorns, coarsely crushed • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds • 1/2 tsp turmeric • 1/4 cup coconut oil


2. Combine the watermelon,

1. In a small saucepan, sauté spices and herbs in the coconut oil for 3 minutes

tomatoes, and feta on a large platter or in a bowl. Drizzle with cooled turmeric oil. Now, simply sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

over medium heat to create turmeric oil. Take the pan off of the heat, then let it cool.

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