Close menu


Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

‘The Way to Eden’: Environmental legal and ethical values in interplanetary space flight

Newman, Christopher (2016) ‘The Way to Eden’: Environmental legal and ethical values in interplanetary space flight. In: The Ethics of Space Exploration. Springer, Switzerland, pp. 221-237. ISBN 978-3-319-39827-3

Item Type: Book Section


There is growing academic attention being directed towards the technical and engineering issues that face human spaceflight in respect of a journey to Mars. Often overlooked in such discussions, however, are the legal and ethical underpinnings that are needed to regulate human behaviour on such an extraordinary mission. This chapter will examine key issues in respect of law and ethics that will face humans on a long duration spaceflight and any subsequent human habitat or colony. This inquiry will examine the existing framework covering long duration spaceflight aboard the ISS and contrast this with legal issues in respect of the welfare of the crew and potential issues relating to the administration of justice for interplanetary travellers. There will be an analysis of the environmental impact of long duration space activity and the extent to which legal regulation should be used to embed environmentalism as a core mission value. Given that there is an emerging consensus on the damage caused by existing space activities, it is contended that any new regulatory framework should embed a commitment to environmental protection within the fabric of rules governing human behaviour in outer space and should be at the forefront of such policy discussions. It is maintained that such legal and ethical issues are not only vital in respect of any human-crewed mission to Mars, but will become the template for the way in which policy regarding all long duration space flight and constitute the lodestar for normative behaviour in this context.

[img] PDF (Chapter from edited collection, Milligan & Schwartz "The Ethics of Space Exploration" (Springer 2016))
Way to Eden PrePublish.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (264kB) | Request a copy

More Information

Depositing User: Christopher Newman


Item ID: 6209
Identification Number:
ISBN: 978-3-319-39827-3
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 04 May 2016 08:06
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 09:19


Author: Christopher Newman

University Divisions

Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Law
Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism > School of Tourism
Faculty of Business, Law and Tourism


Law > Law

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item