Assuring a safe, secure and sustainable space environment for space activities: Considerations on a consensual orbital debris remediation scheme

Publikation: Beiträge in ZeitschriftenKonferenzaufsätze in FachzeitschriftenForschung


This paper looks at the interaction between the classic rules of Outer Space Law as they apply to space debris. It transcends the traditional legal debate which focuses primarily on impact-related damage, particularly on Earth. Now, with longer term concerns for safe, secure and sustainable space environment at stake, there appears to be a strong case for aligning the debris codes, rules about preventive and precautionary measures for outer space activities, with the traditional liability system. The ultimate goal is to impact positively on debris control in Outer Space, enable its reduction, and agree on a modus vivendi that ranges from debris mitigation to include debris remediation. The paper considers how the current space law regime could enable practical and recognisable means of ensuring compliance with the debris rules, and its mitigation, possibly through incentive based systems. With the advent of space surveillance tracking systems, the Space Security Index and various other thematic programmes, a new matrix combining existing rules to shape sustainability is top of the regulatory agenda. The precarious state of the outer space environment is known to all, yet final agreement on the action required is still under discussion. This paper highlights some essential aspects of what could be done to initiate these remedial projects. In doing so, it draws attention to salient aspects of law and policy.

ZeitschriftProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Seiten (von - bis)9389-9401
Anzahl der Seiten13
PublikationsstatusErschienen - 2014