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Space Tourism becomes the new era of the exploration and use of outer space in the peaceful purposes, and has been discussed scholarly for a long period of time. As a result of the outer space competition has evolved increasingly include non-state entities specifically the space companies, which are becoming the serious actors in outer space activities themselves.
However, the ambiguity of the international legal principle is concerned, especially in the legal of status of the space tourists are questionable in the present, the international space laws only recognize the astronaut as the envoy of mankind in accordance with the Outer Space Treaty (formally known as Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1967), Article V provides that “States Parties to the Treaty … shall render to them all possible assistance in the event of accident, distress, or emergency landing on the territory of another State Party or on the high seas” and elaborated in the Rescue Agreement (formally known as Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space 1968). Nevertheless, it does not mention to the legal status of the tourists in space tourism, even though in the Rescue Agreement broadens this obligation to include all “personnel of a spacecraft”, it is questionable whether the word “personnel of the aircraft” in this context refers to space tourists as well.
This paper argue that the word “personnel of a spacecraft” in Rescue Agreement is not include the space tourists, because the space tourism is a commercial transaction, so the tourists neither represent their country nor the envoy of mankind, they go to the outer space for pleasure and recreation, do not conduct researches for their country. Therefore, it cannot apply the Outer Space Treaty and the Rescue Agreement to the space tourists in the space tourism.
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Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies.
Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts, and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space.