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VU Center for Space Studies

– Towards responsible use of space in the benefit of humanity – 

The VU Center for Space Studies is an interdisciplinary research unit established by the Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Our mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of space domain, with a specific focus on the responsible use of space for the benefit of humanity.

The Center’s research endeavors are aimed at critically analysing the impact of space exploration and utilization in the context of the growing commercialization of space activities. We strive to foster interdepartmental collaborations to provide holistic research solutions and cutting-edge educational programs that address the various challenges and opportunities presented by the space domain.

Our research and teaching include a wide range of areas related to space, including:

  • Space law and policy: We aim to study the legal frameworks and regulations that govern the use of space and their impact on the sustainable development of space activities.
  • Artificial intelligence and space-related activities: We are interested in studying the implications of AI technology on the current and future use of space, including its implications on space operations, space missions and corresponding decision-making.
  • Exploitation of space resources (space mining): We study the economic, legal, and environmental implications of space mining and its impact on the sustainable use of space resources.
  • Militarization and weaponization of outer space: We are interested in the implications of military activities in space, including their impact on international security and stability.
  • Space technology for equality: We aim to study how space technology can be used to promote equality and inclusion, including the use of space technology to achieve sustainable development goals and promote social justice.
  • Astronomy and space pollution: We are focused on the impact of mega constellations on “dark skies” alongside the proliferation of space debris and its potential threat to the space ecosystem and terrestrial life.
  • Moon governance: A growing number of spacefaring countries alongside commercial actors have a growing interest in the exploration of Moon resources. We analyse if the existing legal framework is sufficient for dealing with existing challenges concerning new forms of Moon governance.

For additional details regarding the activities of the VU Center for Space Studies, please contact Ioana Bratu, Coordinator. 

Amsterdam Law & Technology Institute
VU Faculty of Law
De Boelelaan 1077, 1081 HV Amsterdam