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Guardians of the galaxy

From introducing new legal frameworks and improving the spinal health of astronauts to predicting space weather - researchers from Northumbria are filling the voids created by a new era of space odysseys.

One example is the work going on within Northumbria's Law School to educate the next generation of legal practitioners:

Launching careers in space law

Students at Northumbria could see their career options take on a whole new dimension with the introduction of a new teaching module on outer space law.

The new lectures are being offered to third year Northumbria Law School students and will cover areas such as space exploration, mining opportunities in space, and regulatory frameworks surrounding outer space law in the UK and abroad. A series of lectures have been developed and will be delivered by Professor Chris Newman, one of the UK and Europe’s leading experts in space law and policy.

He explains: “It is extremely rare for space law lectures such as this to be offered to undergraduates in UK universities, so this is a really exciting opportunity for our students. As well opening up a whole new learning experience, it will give them entirely new employment options to explore.

“The Government has a clear strategy to develop space exploration and to take a leading international role. The North East is also becoming a real hub for start-up space companies who are already making significant inroads into this growing sector. We already work with businesses and new ventures specialising in services like space security, space situation awareness and air traffic control in space – and they will be looking for law graduates with an understanding in these emerging sectors.”

Another potential growth area is space tourism, and Professor Newman was recently asked by leading Canadian broadcast channel CBC to comment on the latest Virgin Galactic flight – and whether it really did reach space? You can listen to his interview here (fast forward to 37 mins 49 secs into the programme).

For more information on studying law at Northumbria please visit



A version of this article originally appeared in the Northumbria University supplement produced with Times Higher Education.

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Chris Newman

Professor of Space Law and Policy at Northumbria Law School

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