Laura Montgomery

Columbus School of Law


Laura Montgomery is an adjunct professor of space law at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, and the proprietor of Ground Based Space Matters, LLC, where 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, reusable launch vehicles, the operation of launch and reentry sites, and the financial responsibility and liability requirements of those regulations. She has been invited to testify before the space subcommittee and committee of both the House and the Senate of the U.S. Congress on matters of regulation and international obligation.

Ms. 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, and acting manager of the Aircraft Certification Branch. 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 space transportation. Her work at the FAA included legal interpretations, the development and application of regulations, legislative proposals, identification of matters for enforcement action, and legal review of licensing and permitting evaluations. 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 Ms. Montgomery’s time at the FAA include her representation of the FAA at the United Nations 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 testimony to Congress on the FAA’s interpretation of the Commercial Space Launch Act.

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

She blogs at She also writes science fiction.

Publications by Laura Montgomery