Tanja Masson-Zwaan is Deputy Director of the International Institute of Air and Space Law at Leiden University, where she teaches in the advanced Masters programme (LLM) in air and space law and she is President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL). Tanja carries out research and gives lectures on space law all over the world, advises national and international bodies on matters relating to space law, and attends the sessions of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).
She is, inter alia, board member of the Netherlands Space Society, advisory board member of the Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC), and was on the founding board of Women in Aerospace Europe.
"I was proud to be Dutch when I first heard about Mars One - the renowned Dutch pioneering spirit had already brought us a company set up and supported by Dutch visionaries that will provide access to space for citizens and science projects, and now Mars One may soon allow humanity to leave the Earth's cradle to settle on Mars. I know little to nothing about the technical, scientific or economic challenges this project will bring - except that they will be huge - but I welcome the challenge to reflect on the numerous legal and ethical questions these new space ventures raise. Human settlement on another planet was not envisaged by the UN space treaties drafted in the post Cold War era. States will need to address many issues, both at international and national level. On what conditions would states allow a private company to send humans to another planet? What kind of requirements should a Mars settlement comply with in terms of planetary protection? What legal regime will govern life on another planet? Until now, these questions used to sound very 'far off', but if Mars One lives up to its promise, space lawyers have work to do, and I am excited to be a part of that!"