Michelle is the Co-Director of the Air and Space Law Program at the University of Mississippi School of Law and its Center for Air and Space Law. Preserving Human History in Space - a Path to Sustainable Development and Peace She is also a Co-Founder and President of For All Moonkind, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that is the only organization in the world focused on protecting human cultural heritage in outer space. For All Moonkind has been recognized by the United Nations as a Permanent Observer to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. Michelle Chairs the International Committee of the National Space Society and serves as the Co-Chair of the Cultural Considerations Working Group of the Moon Village Association. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Yale College and her J.D. magna cum laude from the Georgetown University Law Center. Michelle earned her LLM in Air and Space Law from McGill University where the focus of her research was commercial space and the intersection of commerce and public law. Prior to focusing on space law, Michelle was engaged in a private business law practice. Her legal career commenced with the restructuring of sovereign debt for a number of South and Latin American countries and evolved into the negotiation and implementation of cross-border technology mergers and acquisitions. Her subsequent solo practice advised entrepreneurs across four continents on all aspects of bringing their innovative ideas to market: from basic corporate formation to financings and buyouts. Michelle continues to provide advice and counsel in respect of all aspects of air, space and cyber law through the consulting firm of ABH Aerospace, LLC.
Preserving Human History in Space - a Path to Sustainable Development and Peace
Between 1957 and 1975, the international community dedicated a tremendous amount of time and effort to negotiating a set of treaties and conventions that would, it was hoped, prevent the militarization of space and ensure freedom of access and exploration for all nations. At the time, preservation of cultural heritage in outer space was not a paramount concern. As such, it is not surprising in the least that the quartet of widely ratified treaties are silent with respect to the preservation and protection of human cultural heritage. Now, a scant (in archaeological terms anyway) 42 years after the last treaty was ratified, this silence is perilous. The international community must work to address the void left by the current space law regime in respect of human and cultural heritage in space. Our exploration of outer space must be anchored by the recognition and affirmation that we are together one species, with a shared goal, too often obscured, of preservation, peace and goodwill. The international community has embraced the fundamental need to preserve our history here on Earth - 193 nations have ratified the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. We should harness that sentiment as we contemplate global space governance. Formal international recognition of our first tentative steps on the Moon, starting with the Luna 2 site, as a celebrated human achievement will help us move beyond "us vs. them" and properly move our focus to humanity as a whole. It also provides a unique platform to educate the global public and generate excitement for human achievement in space, past, present and future.