Shruti Gurudanti, Rose Law Group corporate transactions chair who advises in area of space law, weighs in on the legalities involved when someone dies in space

By The Conversation

Commercial spaceflight companies such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are now offering exclusive opportunities for celebrities and civilians to travel to space.

Traditionally, astronauts have been subject to rigorous training and medical scrutiny before going to space, and the risk of death from natural causes was considered remote.

But in this new era of space tourism, it appears medical screening may not be carried out, and only minimal pre-flight training provided.

With a wide variety of people now going to space, and the prospect in the coming years of humans establishing bases on the Moon and beyond, it raises an important question: what happens if someone dies in space?

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“This is a great example where we will have to pull from the principals applicable under the laws of High Seas (international waters).”

Shruti Gurudanti, Rose Law Group Chair of Corporate Transactions

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