Copyright © 2005 by David M. Livingston. Published by The Mars Society with permission.
Dr. David M. Livingston
The Space Show
P.O. Box 95
Tiburon, California 94920
The year 2004 was an historic year for space development. Previously closed doors for accessing commercial space started opening as we find ourselves in the early stages of developing a new national space policy and vision. Congress has passed the initial funding, regulatory reform is underway, and the private sector has proven that it can safely go to low Earth orbit (LEO) and return to Earth. The new breed of space entrepreneurial companies with their CEO’s, investors, and financiers have finally started doing what they set out to do which is to develop cost effective space access and start building a space tourism industry.
As the author of The Code of Ethics for Off-Earth Commerce and Space Development, now is the right time to examine this emerging new industry to determine the relevancy of pursuing a business oriented ethical approach to space commerce. The Code of Ethics for Off-Earth Commerce and Space Development should be relevant and capable of evolving with the industry as it also evolves and approaches maturity.
My purpose in implementing new ethical research for space and off-Earth commerce is to examine and update as necessary The Code of Ethics for Off-Earth Commerce and Space Development to make it useful in the emerging entrepreneurial and commercial space community. It is important that this ethical work remain a viable and preferred path for the development for commercial space development. Not only will this Code of Ethics be examined and updated as required, specific feedback from those shaping the new commercial space industry has been solicited and will form the basis of the updates. By making sure the Code of Ethics for Off-Earth Commerce and Space Development remains relevant and desirable, future generations of space settlers, explorers, and tourists, as well as the rest of us here on Earth will be well served. With the Code of Ethics, we will also see more positive regulatory and societal changes that facilitate the growth and development of new commercial space industries. We will all be able to benefit from the many new commercial opportunities which are sure to arise from the coming off-Earth commerce.