Space Communications and the Law: Adequate International Control After 1963?

During the current year, a space event of legal and technological significance will occur. The American Telephone and Telegraph Company (A.T. & T.), using the launching facilities of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), will launch its first satellite for research in the area of commercial communications.† The A.T. & T. sphere will be the first tested by a private, commercial organization specifically for business purposes- to implement a plan eventually to provide increased and improved telecommunications on a grand scale at a lower cost. The satellite will relay television signals from the United States to England, Germany, and France. Before a communication network can be commercially feasible, however, certain legal problems of space communications must be solved.