On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 lunar module, Eagle, landed on the moon, definitively ending the space race with the Soviet Union and signaling what was hoped to be a bright new dawn for humanity. In December 2013, the Chinese Yutu (Jade Rabbit) lunar rover touched down on the moon, making China only the third country to successfully land a rover on the lunar surface. No longer are there two clear superpowers in space; the eagle has reigned supreme for more than four decades, but the hare is catching up.

Today, space is a relatively peaceful place from an international law perspective. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, and the official end of the Cold War, space exploration has become a global endeavor, with multiple participating countries and widespread cooperation. Joint achievements such as the construction of the International Space Station (ISS) exist solely thanks to this collaboration and could probably never have been completed with the resources and technologies of one country alone. . . .