UND Space Studies hosts space law pioneer Joanne Gabrynowicz

Document Type

News Article

Publication Date


Campus Unit

John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences


Gabrynowicz was a founding faculty member of UND Space Studies

Spring 2013 Space Studies Colloquium Series focuses on the general theme "Near-Earth Asteroid Mining" and features several leading experts in the field.

The third presenter in this series is Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, director at the National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law and a research professor of law at the University of Mississippi School of Law. Gabrynowicz also was a founding faculty member at UND Space Studies, part of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences (UND Aeospace).

Topic: " Asteroids to Assets: International and U.S. Legal Considerations for Emerging Private and Commercial Space Activities"

Time/date: 4 p.m., Friday, March 1 (note: this is a different day of the week from previous presentations in this series).

Location: Ryan Hall, Room 111

About the topic:

In the era of globalization, private sector and commercial space activities are changing. Large, Cold War Era aerospace corporations that have operated on robust "buy national" governmental contracting policies are being joined by new, smaller, entrepreneurial companies that seek profit by providing goods and services in an international marketplace. Debate continues about the viability and differences of these two models.

However, the new companies are raising legal issues that the traditional companies have not: can property be claimed and developed on celestial bodies by private companies or by commercial government companies? Can these entities "settle" or "colonize"? Are commercial activities operated in orbit legally different from those operated on Earth or the Moon and other celestial bodies? What, if any, public-good responsibilities do these companies have? How will they be regulated? Will who regulate them?

This talk will provide an introduction to the legal landscape that governs these activities, discuss existing precedents, and raise possibilities for unprecedented activities.

About the speaker:

Joanne Gabrynowicz teaches space law and remote sensing law---academic fields in which she is regarded by her peers as an international expert---at the University of Mississippi School of Law and is the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Space Law. She is an official observer for the International Institute of Space Law to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space Legal Subcommittee.

Gabrynowicz is a member of the American Bar Association, Forum on Aviation and Space Law, the New York State Bar, the International Institute of Space Law and Women in Aerospace, among other professional groups.

Gabrynowicz was a founding faculty member of the UND Space Studies Department in 1986 (the department's first four students were admitted in 1987). She also served as director of the department's graduate studies.

This is her second appearance as a guest presenter for the Space Studies Colloquium series: in 2009, she presented the topic "1958-2008 Fifty Years of Space Law: The United States of America National Space Law Regime."

Those unable to attend in person may view the live webcast via Connect-Pro: http://connect.aero.und.edu/colloquium/ Sign in as a guest or use your Connect-Pro log-in.

A live webcast is also available at http://realmedia.aero.und.edu/liveclass.html

Colloquium presentations will be added to the space.edu colloquium website after the live event for later viewing.