With the ambitious goals Elon Musk has set for his BFR mission, with a launch set to happen in 2022, some major and pressing issues have emerged. His mission overlooks the Outer Space Treaty, as he is not bound by it, and does not abide by the rules that prohibit space explorers to create any exclusive area in space for example or to pursue goals that would not benefit humankind (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3286/1). Elon Musk’s project has absolutely changed the whole paradigm and could seriously impact the future of exploration. It even raises some major environmental issues (like the destruction of celestial bodies and/or of any trace of life on Mars) as well as some health hazards for humankind, with the risk of contaminating earth with unknown bugs (https://indaily.com.au/opinion/2017/10/03/problems-overlooked-elon-musks-dazzling-mars-plan/).

Thus, the Outer Space Treaty appears to be unfitted to sufficiently frame the behavior of private actors and new space exploration projects. What could explain the fact that countries and new actors still haven’t taken action to change the Outer Space Treaty and replace it with a more relevant agreement?