Book Review: The Little Book of Space Law

May 28th, 2013

Credit: ABA Publishing

The Little Book of Space Law by Matthew J. Kleiman; ABA Book Publishing; Bolingbrook, Illinois; $19.95 (Regular)/$17.95 (American Bar Association Member); 2013.

This is an excellent and very readable treatment regarding space law – the international and national laws that govern human activities in outer space. Plus, you’ll find a surprising gaggle of factoids and tidbits that can reach mental escape velocity when thinking about this topic.

Frankly, after this read you may be a little less afraid to hear that space lawyers are here to help you! As the author suggests in the opening line of the main text: “Practicing law is not rocket science, but sometimes rocket scientists need lawyers.”

Kleiman has divided this 190 page book up into four sections: Launch, Orbit, Re-entry, as well as Who Owns the Moon?

But the book’s chapters themselves tell the story from risk to human life and property and loss of satellite payloads, to orbital debris, licensing commercial reentry activities and ownership of celestial real estate – asteroids. There’s even a chapter on patent infringement in outer space.

The book is nicely indexed making it all the more accessible to the general reader, as well as a seasoned lawyer. As the book suggests, this volume is an introduction to the exciting field of space law for all space-loving earthlings – and I completely concur.

Matthew Kleiman is Corporate Counsel at the Draper Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He teaches space law at Boston University and serves as chair of the Space Law Committee of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law.

Kleiman is also a member of the International Institute of Space Law and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Technical Committee on Legal Aspects of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

For more information on this book, go to:

By Leonard David