ASCEND attendee Austin Murnane, an attorney in private practice, is identifying the laws and policies that can facilitate the exploration and use of outer space for the benefit of all mankind.

Why I am going to ASCEND

As a member of AIAA and the Chair of the Subcommittee on Commerical Space Flight, Committee on Aeronautics at the New York City Bar Association, I want to discuss what I’ve been working on, including

  • legal principles for the next stages of commerce and exploration into space
  • the rights and duties of companies and citizens who will acquire and use resources in outer space
  • rules and policies for planetary defense (of Earth) and planetary protection (of other planetary bodies)
  • how the laws of space are written – and who will write them
  • the distinction between territorial sovereignty and personal jurisdiction in space – legal concepts that will define the future for spacefaring nations, peoples, and companies
  • applying the lessons of colonial and post-colonial periods to identify rights and obligations for the exploration and eventual settlement of areas in space
Austin Murnane

Austin Murnane

Who I want to meet

For starters, I’m hoping to meet anyone with an interest in expanding the use of outer space, be it academics, government officials, or investors.

I am specifically seeking to connect with representatives from both the public and private sectors to discuss how I can help them facilitate an accelerating expansion of humanity into space. By working with both governments and industry, we can develop rules and norms that will allow for the exploration of outer space in a way that recognizes the efforts and contributions of the people who work there, either remotely or in-person, as well as the interests of all mankind.

What I  hope to achieve

It’s crucial to establish the right legal principles to quickly facilitate a broad and increasingly diverse range of human activities in outer space. There will be a lot of different stakeholders, many of whom don’t even exist yet, so we must establish the foundational rules with them in mind.

Share your dreams of tomorrow

Your entrepreneurial spirit, business acumen, technical innovations, and passion for aerospace play an important role in both advancing life on earth and building our off-world civilization. Like Austin, we invite you to share your vision for what that future will look like and how we’ll get there.



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Jaclyn Vann

About Jaclyn Vann