"If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- The Dalai Lama

Monday, October 10, 2005

Happy Outer Space Treaty Day!

It was on this date in 1967 when the General Assembly adopted the "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies," otherwise known as the Outer Space Treaty.

Article I of the Treaty tells us:

The exploration and use of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind.

Outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all States without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.

There shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.

And Article IX tell us in part:
States Parties to the Treaty shall pursue studies of outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, and conduct exploration of them so as to avoid their harmful contamination and also adverse changes in the environment of the Earth resulting from the introduction of extraterrestrial matter and, where necessary, shall adopt appropriate measures for this purpose.

As of January 1, 2005 98 countries, including the US, have ratified the Treaty and another 27 have signed.

1 comment:

Murky Thoughts said...

I think that thing may also have the global protocols for communicating with and establishing relations with intelligent extraterrestrials. That or some other old UN thing. There's still an international committee in charge of such stuff, to which SETI projects are supposed to defer. For a window into this alas all-too earnest world, may I recommend
http://www.ieti.org/index.html