Space Elevator War

Credit: NASA

It all starts with a space elevator. A space elevator, according to the Space Elevator Reference, is a physical connection from the surface of the Earth, or another planetary body such as Mars, to a geostationary Earth orbit (GEO - in the case of Earth) above the Earth at roughly 35,786 km in altitude.

Deltastan's space elevator was ostensibly deployed to tether its space station to Earth. But in Manfred Lach Moot Court, as in John Grisham meets Michael Crichton type novels, things quickly turn complicated. Never mind that we don't have
space elevator technology yet. The fun begins when Deltastan secretly replaces its nice space station with a laser weapons and antimissle defense system. Suspicious, neighboring Gammaland sends up an "inspector" spacecraft to monitor Deltastan's payloads transported via the space elevator. But of course the spacecraft's exhaust contains a new biopropellant which naturally causes the elevator's "Super String" carbon nanotubes to decompose.

The action heats up and Deltastan and Gammaland find themselves on the brink of war. Prisoners are taken, allegations fly.

Don't wait for the movie, it's not too early to start contemplating 2005's
space law moot court challenge -- Case Concerning International Liability, Deltastan v Gammaland. It's a doozy. Here's your statement of facts and issues, in PDF or if you prefer, HTML.

(And in case you missed the action this past October in Vancouver, live at the
55th Annual Astronautical Congress, the Netherlands' University of Leiden, bested Georgetown University to take the 2004 Moot Court trophy in the case, "Commercialisation of a Space Station.") Here at the Probe we're tempted, but alas, will not be taking bets on who will prevail in 2005. May the best space moot law team win.

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