• Question: If someone is (hypothetically) born in space, what passport would they get?

    Asked by PuranbirandMoni to Tom, Jon, COLFlight, Beth, Anne on 16 Oct 2015. This question was also asked by 208trn32.
    • Photo: Columbus Flight Directors

      Columbus Flight Directors answered on 16 Oct 2015:

      Hi there!
      This is a great question! I’ve been asking this to myself for a while, but I don’t know the answer for sure.

      I think that in space, the international maritime laws apply. This means that it would be the same as to be born in the middle of an ocean, in international waters. I think that in that case, you get the nationality of your parents and/or the one of the ship you are on.

      However, I do not know what is the nationality of the ISS, being it international. Probably it is the nationality of the country who built it: in the US section, it’s USA; in the Russian section, it’s Russia; in the Japanese module, it’s Japan.
      And what about Columbus? That was built by the European Space Agency, different parts in different countries! So for that I reeally don’t know
      I think we’d need a space lawyer! 😀

    • Photo: Beth Healey

      Beth Healey answered on 16 Oct 2015:

      Hi PuranbirandMoni!

      There is the same issue here in Antarctica as no one owns it! However there have been babies born here. In these cases they have been given the nationality of their parents.

      As Sergio says though I think a space laywer would be advisable!! 😉 Otherwise I guess you could always be ‘Spacish’…