Space Law

Empowering our clients to explore the Universe
Home / Blog / Schedule / Contact

Our space and aerospace law team combines its collective legal experience and passion for astro and aerospace to provide academic. commercial, and NFP clients with strategic representation on all matters space.

Advances in the commercial space industry have and will continue to excite the imaginations and visions of the public, scientists, enterprising businesses, and entrepreneurs. Over the next several years, these visions will help produce phenomenal growth in the commercial aerospace and space industry and the related sciences. This growth will in turn create diverse and innovative opportunities for businesses of all sizes.

Mudd Law has positioned itself to help our clients effectuate the realizatioin of their visions and the implementation of discovered opportunties. We commit ourselves to remaining knowledgeable about developments in space business, law, politics, and science. This enhanced understanding allows us to better understand our clients' operations and thereby provide a dynamic representation of their interests.

Our space law team can provide you, our space industry clients, with representation on specific, targeted tasks such as navigating ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) and EAR (Export Administration Regulations), applications for licenses and permits, the negotiation of contracts, and resolution of particular disputes. Our system dynamics allow us to complete such tasks on your timetable.
Our attorneys also possess the breadth to provide our space industry clients with general representation across matters of data security, employment agreements, entity formation, intellectual property, workplace policies, and more. Where our clients engage us on multiple facets of their operations, efficiencies emerge through the enhanced knowledge this produces. Also, our clients benefit from a close, working relationship with a dedicated law firm.

Our team can represent our space law clients in a variety of endeavors both specific to the commercial space industry and more endemic to all businesses. Always, we work closely with our clients to effectuate strategic success, facilitate compliance, and protect assets. Thus, we can provide our clients with a solid, single firm experience with dedicated attention and support.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your circumstances and how we can help meet and expand beyond your objectives.

Mudd Law proudly supports efforts to explore and research space and the Universe. We also support efforts to promote STEM among children of all ages including through programming on the STEMdadia Network.

Our firm has a long history of working with academics and researchers to protect their interests. We also believe it important to advance policies in select substantive areas. With our space law practice, we apply these core firm components to those exploring space and building the future commercial space industry.

Advances in the exploration and research of space depend significantly on astrophyicists, astronemers, physicists, scientists, technicians, and so many more. Our firm historically has represented academics in protecting their intellectual property and navigating the nuances of employment agreements with academic institutions.

Depending on the academic institution and any particular employment agreement, an academic engaging in research and scientific developments may or may not individually own the intellectual property created in their academic employer environment. We advise our academic clients in the nuances affecting the intellectual property they create. In this context, we work with our clients to secure and protect their intellectual property rights.
Mudd Law believes it important to participate in the future development of space law and policy. Consequently, we make efforts to become involved in legal and policy discussions. We welcome the opportunity to advise various parties in the development of implementable and theoretical policies aftecting the commercial space industry, space research and exploration, and international cooperation. In particular, we see the continued necessity to develop, revise, and/or implement policies relating to space debris and property rights.

Mudd Law and its space law team believes it important to support space related research. We effectuate our support by providing legal advice and counsel in the development of research endeavors. Additionally, we welcome the opportunity to participate directly in research.

Please contact Charles Mudd directly to discuss academic, policy, and research opportunities.

Our team members work closely with our clients to ensure regulatory compliance.

As with any industry, compliance with applicable regulations and laws constitutes an essential component of effective and legal business operations. To ensure such compliance, participants in the commercial space industry should have an understanding of applicable international, federal, and state laws as well as utilize legal counsel to guide them through various paradigms.

The ratified international treaties and governing documents provide a foundation from which the federal government enacts, implements, and enforces its regulatons and laws. In particular, these include applicable Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") commercial space transportation regulations. However, beyond the FAA regulations, other statutes, regulations, and state-based contract and tort principles apply to business operations in the commercial space industry.

With our knowledge, Mudd Law provides clients with advice and counsel on the laws applicable to their business operations and objectives. From this position, we navigate our clients through the regulatory and legal schema. Further, we will work with our clients to complete necessary applications for purposes of securing licenses and permits as well as negotiate agreements and contracts with existing licensed strategic players.
Primary Application
For those seeking primary authorization from the FAA, our firm will work with our clients to complete appropriate FAA applications applicable to their intended objectives. Where the operation objectives include specific intended vehicles, we will collaborate with our clients to complete and file the necessary launch and/or reentry licenses and permits. Similarly, where applicable licenses and permits have been obtained but new or modified items must be implemented, we will work with our operator clients to apply for applicable safety approvals.

Secondary Application (Satellites, CubeSats, Nanosats)
Mudd Law will also work with business clients to apply for approval for placing satellites (including cubesats) in operational orbit. We also will work with our space industry clients to build relations with industry partners who can facilitate launch, transport, and other necessary support.

The Mudd Law team can provide our clients with advice and guidance from concept through implementation. At any representation entry point, we can help you secure your targeted goals and milestones.

We welcome the opportunity to discuss your business and how we can help meet and expand beyond your objectives.

The potential resources in space abound.

The mining of valuable resources from space will be one of the most advanced and challenging commercial ventures of this century. To begin with, it necessarily invokes international treaties and policies governing ownership - or lack thereof - in space. As such, there exist international legal and political issues. Also, the mining of resources from interstellar bodies will require the cooperation of commercial and governmental bodies. And, of course, there exist the scientific and health related issues involved in such advanced operations.

As commercial and joint commercial-government ambitions grow for manned missions to Mars, there will be potential opportunities for commercial involvement on all vertical and horizontal vectors as well as advanced scientific opportunities for research and knowledge acquisition.

Commercial, educational, and government efforts to expand our knowledge of the Universe continue at an exciting pace. With our knowledge of exoplanets and galaxies growing on a near-daily basis, breathtaking discoveries abound. Plans to expand networks for capturing gravitational waves and implementation of the James Webb telescope will increase the opportunities for scientific research and growth.
We welcome the opportunity to discuss your business and how we can help meet and expand beyond your objectives.


Advancement of space initiatives will depend on forward-thinking policies and enforceable law.

In the last decade, the commercial space industry has made significant advances. New players have emerged to help facilitate space transport. The number of small businesses participating in the space spector has grown. Commercial space opportunities will grow on Earth and in space. As such, there must be enforceable laws and policies to help govern the future exploration of space.

Our principal attorney, Charles Lee Mudd Jr., considers the development of sound space law and policy essential to the effective developmen of the next space age. In this context, he actively participates in space policy discussions. He attended the First United Nations Conference on Space Law and Policy. He regularly speaks on space law and policy. Additionally, he actively participates in NewSpace Chicago.

At this Charles welcomes the opportunity to discuss space law and policy in any environment and to any audience.

Additionally, he seeks thought leaders to appear on his podcast STEM Voices. You can contact Charles directly with any inquiries.
Our firm regularly participates in space policy deliberations.

This August 2020, Mudd Law will host a side meeting at SmallSat 2020 at which he will discuss the Federal Communication Commissions proposed rules for orbital debris mitigation.

Charles has become particularly involved in efforts to mitigate the effects of satellite solar reflection on professional and amateur astronomy. In June 2020, Charles participated in the American Astronomical Association and National Science Foundation SATCON1 which addressed the existing and potential adverse impact of megaconstellations on astronomy, astrophysics, and other space sciences. The presentations from the observational, simulations, and mitigations working groups have been made available online. Earlier in 2020, Charles provided testimony before the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) advocating the CEQ modify the NEPA implementing regulations to expressly encompass the night sky as a component of our natural environment. Later, he co-authored with the International Dark-Sky Association a comment they submitted to the CEQ articulating the same arguments. Later, he logically expanded the audience for these environmental arguments and submitted a letter to the United Nations Environment Assembly advocating that the UN recognize the night sky as an essential aspect of the natural environment in its preparation for UNEA-5. This advocacy follows and implements the strategies articulated in his prior writing on the legal response to FCC approved satellite megaconstellations that has been cited internationally.

In 2018, Charles attended the United Nations' First Conference on Space Law and Policy in Moscow, Russia. The following year, he attended and participated in the UNOOSA organized United Nations Second Conference on Space Law and Policy held in Istanbul, Turkey. Specifically, he participated in a panel on capacity building and specifically addressed the importance of involving younger generations in the development of space policy. He also regularly speaks on space law and policy at AAS conferences, NewSpace Chicago meetings, and academic opportunities.

Why Choose Us?


Our team develops and employs innovative solutions to effectuate and protect our clients' visions.


We work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and their interests.


Open communication with our clients advances the representation of their interests.


We combine knowledge of our clients' businesses with legal experience to develop custom strategies.


We react quickly and adapt to changing circumstances.


We protect our clients and their interests.