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Title: The fallen envoy: the rise and fall of astronaut in International Space Law
Authors: Sreejith, S.G
Keywords: International space law
Agreement on astronauts
Outer space treaty
Moon treaty
Issue Date: 28-Oct-2018
Publisher: Space Policy (Elsevier)
Citation: Sreejith, S.G. (October 28, 2018). The fallen envoy: the rise and fall of astronaut in International Space Law. Space Policy (Elsevier), 47,130-139, Doi: 10.1016/j.spacepol.2018.10.004.
Abstract: The article revisits the legal status of astronauts by recounting the tale of their rise and fall in the International Space Law (ISL). ISL in its early years declared astronauts as envoys of mankind, although later it entered into a state of forgetfulness, replacing it with more contemporaneous term “personnel”. Personnel bought a sense of everydayness and pragmatism to ISL as against the idealism attached to astronauts and their status as the envoys of mankind’s romantic collective. Spotlighting on this shift, the article argues that the term astronaut has, in fact a semiotic effect in ISL that constantly evokes proud memories of human conquest of outer spaces. That is to say, in bestowing astronauts with the status of envoys of mankind, ISL mainly meant to record the remarkable feat of that day rather than actualizing astronauts in the deontological space of law. Later on, mindful of the burgeoning space activities and the need to regulate them, ISL espoused the term personnel to refer to space travellers. Today, ISL governs the activities of personnel, whereas astronaut has a logocentric presence therein. Drawing on relevant understanding of contemporary society and culture, the article concludes that astronauts have a legacy in law and society- they continue to exist as a cultural symbol in society and as a symbol of a culture in ISL.
ISSN: 0265-9646
Appears in Collections:JGU Research Publications
JGU Research Publications

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