The Law Offices of Laura Montgomery publish Ground Based Space Matters. Discussions here will focus primarily on the regulation of commercial space transportation and the implications of the Outer Space Treaties.  The law offices hold copyright, but welcome links with attribution.

Cover art photograph is by Brent Olson through Dreamstime.com.  © Brent Olson.

Disclaimer:  Ground Based Space Matters is intended to highlight and explore space law and policy issues, and does not constitute or provide legal advice.  You should not use Ground Based Space Matters as a substitute for specific, fact-based legal advice.  Neither reading nor posting on Ground Based Space Matters forms an attorney-client relationship.



Laura Montgomery teaches space law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law. In her private practice through Ground Based Space Matters she specializes in regulatory space law, with an emphasis on commercial space transportation and the Outer Space Treaties. She provides expert opinion on the Commercial Space Launch Act, its implementing regulations governing the launch of launch vehicles, the reentry of reentry vehicles, the operation of launch and reentry sites, and the financial responsibility and liability requirements of those regulations. She testified last year to the space subcommittees of the both the House and Senate.  Her testimony on Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty to the House subcommittee is here and to the Senate subcommittee is here.

Laura Montgomery spent over two decades with the Federal Aviation Administration. She served as the manager of the Space Law Branch in the FAA’s Office of the Chief Counsel. Before that, she was the FAA’s Senior Attorney for Commercial Space Transportation. As the FAA’s space lawyer, she supported the Office of Commercial Space Transportation in its authorization and regulation of launch, reentry and the operation of launch and reentry sites, popularly referred to as spaceports. Her work at the FAA included legal interpretations, the development and application of regulations and legislative proposals, identification of matters for enforcement action, and licensing and permitting evaluation. Her rulemakings included human space flight, explosive siting, launch and launch site licensing and safety, experimental permits, lightning protection, and financial responsibility. She addressed a wide range of issues, from amateur rockets, to sea launch, to space balloons.

Highlights from her time at the FAA include her representation of the FAA at the UN’s legal subcommittee of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, her service as chair to an inter-agency working group on space property rights at the request of the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, and her testimony to Congress on the FAA’s interpretation of the Commercial Space Launch Act.

Before working for the government, she was in private practice with Arter & Hadden in Washington, DC.  There  she specialized in telecommunications, administrative law, and appellate work.

Laura Montgomery received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and her undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Virginia.

She has published articles on human space flight and launch safety. She also writes science fiction, some of which is bourgeois, legal science fiction.  The Waking Late books are space opera.  You may find more about her books at lauramontgomery.com.