2017 ECSL Summer Course - Final Day and Project Pitches
On Friday the 15th of September the 2017 ECSL Summer Course finished its two week course on space law and policy with presentations by the seven teams on the legal aspects on a scientific mission to Mars for the development of resource mining technology. The award for the best overall project was awarded to Team 5, Vanguard, for project MARTE17. Second place was awarded to Team 7, Lawyers Beyond Earth, who also won the award for best written project, for M.O.M. mission. Team 2, Came, Saw & Mined Corporation, took third place and the award for best presentation with their project C.I.A.O. A special distinction was awarded to Delphine Miramont as the best individual speaker.
After having Thursday off to work on the group project and each team having a 15 minutes Q&A session with Prof. Philippe Achilleas, Full Professor of Public Law at the University of Paris-Sud and Board Member of the ECSL, the seven teams had to pitch their project on Friday the 15th of September. The jury for the group project consisted of Prof. Achilleas, Prof. Sergio Marchisio, in his double capacity as both Full Professor of International Law at Sapienza University and Chairman of the ECSL, Dr. Marco Ferrazzani, Legal Counsel and Head of the Legal Services Department of ESA, and Prof. Francesco Amicucci, General Counsel and Head of Legal, Contract, Export Control and Logistics Thales Alenia.
The first group to present was Team 3, Ardito & Co. – Space Law Boutique, with their project “Alter Orbis”. They first set out the benefits and the institutional aspects of a mission to Mars, including an overview of the current market and the next step in the space commerce market. Thereafter, Ardito & Co. set out the legal issues with respect to a mission to Mars, focusing upon the necessity of such a mission to have a scientific character.
Thereafter, Team 7, Lawyers Beyond Earth, presented their Mining on Mars (M.O.M.) mission. Emphasising the opportunity that Mars presents as a scientific object and as an expansion of the human reach, the team discussed the major legal issues presented by such a mission touching upon resource utilisation and environmental protection. The efforts of Lawyers Beyond Earth were recognised by the jury as the second best team overall and as the best written project.
Next up was Team 1, Pizza Planet Legal Company, with the project that was inspirationally named The Martian Way. During the presentation, Pizza Planet Legal Company explained the importance and possible uses of the regolith, the layer of weather rock fragments beneath the soil and above the bedrock, of Mars. The presentation continued by discussing why ESA should be involved in such a mission and the legal aspects that need to be considered when carrying out such a mission.
Then Team 2, Came, Saw & Mined Corporation, presented the Celestial Innovative Advancement in Outer Space (C.I.A.O.) mission. The core advise to ESA was to pursue a robotic exploration mission to develop space resource mining technology as a preparation of future manned programmes. Their presentation was highly valued by the jury receiving the award for the best presentation, which also resulted in Came, Saw & Mined Corporation to come in third for best overall project.
Thereafter, Team 4, Cosmos Legal Consulting, presented the legal and institutional aspects of their Deimos mission. Setting out the legality of the mission through a discussion of the scope, legitimacy and limitations of such a mission, Cosmos Legal Consulting gave a comprehensive presentation. In particular, Delphine Miramont was awarded with the award for the best individual speaker.
The penultimate group to present their project, Team 5, Vanguard, turned out to be the eventual winners for the best overall project with the MARTE17 project. After discussing the market through a SWOT analysis and discussing the institutional aspects and legal aspects of a mission to Mars, Vanguard ended their presentation with an inspirational quote by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success”.
The last team to present their project was Team 6, De’Winne Associates. The Hephaestus mission presented by De’Winne Associates considered the global market for space resource mining and considered the development of national space legislation in the United States of America and Luxembourg. Furthermore, a thorough overview was given of the legal aspects of a scientific resource mining mission to Mars.
Before the winners were announced by the jury, the participants were given two last lectures. First, Fabrizio Spaziani, of Investors Relations and Corporate Development at Advanced Vision Into Orbit (AVIO), gave a presentation of AVIO’s work as a leading company in rocket propulsion, being the prime contractor for the Vega launcher and a partner to the Ariane launcher. Thereafter, Giovanni Compolo, Head of Avionic at Thales Alenia Space, presented on various space applications and projects in which Thales Alenia is involved. Following these lectures the participants received their certificates of participation and awards. The last announcement made by Dr. Ferrazzani was to present the winner of the election of the Student Representative to the ECSL: Kyran Grattan. The successful 2017 ECSL Summer Course was then closed by a formal reception at Sapienza University and a subsequent informal reception with a view on the Altare della Patria. All that is left is to look back on the last two weeks and the warm home Rome and Sapienza University have been for the participants of the 2017 ECSL Summer Course. Rome has stolen many a participants heart!
This article was written by Vincent Seffinga in his capacity as a tutor for the 2017 ECSL Summer Course. All rights remain with the ECSL. ECSL webpage editor: Mari Eldholm - firstname.lastname@example.org