Earth

Light pollution: towards a right to darkness?

For ten years, the subject of light pollution has been more and more discussed. Researchers argue for a right to darkness, both to rediscover the starry sky and to protect ecosystems and human beings, who see lighting as a security symbol.

Is the orbital environment a natural resource?

“Our orbital environment is a natural resource. Just as we need to protect our rivers, forests and oceans on Earth, we believe our orbits need to be monitored and maintained in order to be sustainable”. When a valuable, naturally-occurring resource, is difficult to substitute, its preservation is of prime importance.

Euclid space telescope promises cosmological revolution

Euclid is a visible to near-infrared space telescope currently under development by the European Space Agency (ESA), and the Euclid Consortium. The objective of the Euclid mission is to better understand dark energy and dark matter, by accurately measuring the acceleration of the Universe.

The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities

For this new Space Law article on Space Legal Issues, we have decided to publish The Lawfulness of Space Mining Activities, a space law Master’s Thesis written by Louis de Gouyon Matignon. Available by simply clicking on the link at the bottom of this article, we hope that this work will help you understand space mining, celestial bodies, the lawfulness of space mining activities, asteroids, asteroid mining…

The Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992

After nearly a decade of attempting to guide the complex process of land remote sensing in the U.S., the 1984 Land Remote Sensing Commercialization Act was repealed; in its place, U.S. Congress passed the Land Remote Sensing Policy Act of 1992.

The Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984

The Land Remote-Sensing Commercialization Act of 1984 is a U.S. statute establishing a system to further the utilisation of satellite imagery data obtained from Earth observation satellites. The Act was: a) to guide the federal government in achieving proper involvement of the private sector, and b) to maintain the U.S.A.’s worldwide leadership in civil remote sensing.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce (an executive department of the federal government concerned with promoting economic growth) that focuses on the conditions of the oceans, major waterways, and the atmosphere.

Can Space Law apply on Earth?

Can Space Law apply on Earth? When I tell people about my interest in Space Law, they are usually surprised. They ask me what is Space Law and I try to give a simple definition. Recently, I have asked myself if Space Law could apply on Earth and the answer is of course: yes!

Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space

The Principles Relating to Remote Sensing of the Earth from Outer Space were adopted by consensus on December 3, 1986. They provide a set of non-binding yet agreed and politically relevant principles to guide the activities of remote sensing by the United Nations member states.

The Solar System

The Solar System has three major zones: the inner solid planets and asteroids, the large gaseous planets, and the ice-dominated small bodies that make up the Kuiper belt and Oort Cloud.

An introduction to Orbital Mechanics

Orbital mechanics is the application of the laws of physics to describing the motion of spacecraft. It is one of the fundamental topics in astronautics and is essential to the design, implementation, and operation of a space mission. As well as defining the sorts of orbits that are possible, orbital mechanics is needed to determine spacecraft trajectories.

Orbital slots and space congestion

Today, any company or nation planning to launch a satellite to GEO must apply to the ITU for an orbital slot, and popular regions over North America, Europe, and eastern Asia have become so congested that few or no slots are left for new entrants to the market. With most of the so-called hot orbital slots taken, what opportunities remain for satellite operators to develop new positions or make better use of the existing slots?

What is orbital station-keeping?

For many Earth satellites, the effects of the non-Keplerian forces, like the deviations of the gravitational force of the Earth from that of a homogeneous sphere, the gravitational forces from Sun/Moon, solar radiation pressure and air drag, must be counteracted. The orbital manoeuvres made by thruster burns that are needed to keep a spacecraft in a particular assigned orbit are called orbital station-keeping.

Launch period and launch window

A launch period refers to the days that the rocket can launch to reach its intended orbit. A launch window indicates the time frame on a given day in the launch period that the rocket can launch to reach its intended orbit. The dynamics change from mission to mission, and determining the launch period and launch window is an important part of the overall flight design.

The overview effect

The overview effect is a cognitive shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during spaceflight, often while viewing the Earth from outer space. Many people who have experienced outer space have lived the overview effect, “truly transformative experiences including senses of wonder and awe, unity with nature, transcendence, and universal brotherhood”.