Thomas Cheney is Lecturer in Space Governance within AstrobiologyOU, at the Open University. He is active in researching space law, policy and governance. His research focuses on planetary protection and environmental aspects of space governance, as well as space resources and property rights.
Thomas is also Executive Director of the Centre for a Spacefaring Civilization. He was a co-lead of the Space Generation Advisory Council’s Space Law and Policy Project Group and has, among other things, represented SGAC at the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. He was also a member of the Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group and participated in the development of Building Blocks for the Development of an International Framework on Space Resource Activities.
He has a PhD in space law from Northumbria University, where his research focused on space resources and the associated issues of the relationship between property rights and sovereignty.
While Nasa’s Perseverance rover landed safely on Mars last month, another, China’s Tianwen rover is expected to follow in May. Both missions intend to search the planet for signs of life. But how do we make sure when our landers touch down on the Red Planet’s surface, nothing unwanted is landing with them? If we aren’t careful, …