Space Traffic Management

A manifesto for cleaner orbits

Objects of such a small size, which on Earth are normally harmless, in orbit assume absolute importance in terms of danger for any type of satellite, becoming real projectiles with very high kinetic energy. An orbiting object can reach speeds of several thousands of kilometers per hour.

A human rights-based approach to Space Traffic Management

The international implementation of space traffic management measures, aligned with human rights values and principles, must be prioritized to improve the safety and sustainability of human activities in outer space.

The Space Legal Issues with Mega-Constellations

Nowadays, we hear more and more about constellations and mega-constellations projects consisting of hundreds or thousands of small spacecraft. A satellite constellation is a group of artificial satellites working together. Is it legal? What are the space legal issues?

Swarm Technologies and space law

Swarm Technologies, the Silicon Valley creator of “SpaceBee” picosatellites, is an American start-up based in California. On January 12, 2018, four satellites of the American start-up were illegally put into orbit by Antrix Corporation Limited; what are the space legal issues?

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.

The future space legal issues

Space law was created in the early 1960s as part of the United Nations, under the leadership of the United States of America and the U.S.S.R., then engaged in the race for the Moon. Today, the future space legal issues are the following: the exploitation of celestial bodies in outer space, the militarisation of outer space, and Space Traffic Management (STM).

The Commercial Resupply Services contracts

The U.S. Space Agency is looking to deepen its ties with commercial partners; the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) are a series of contracts awarded by NASA from 2008 to 2016 for delivery of cargo and supplies to the International Space Station (ISS) on commercially operated spacecraft. Continuing its “commercial push”, NASA has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for the next round of contracts under NASA’s Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract.

The 1976 Registration Convention

The 1976 Registration Convention, or Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, which obligates Parties to register launches of all objects launched into Earth orbit or into outer space with an appropriate national space agency, was considered and negotiated by the COPUOS Legal Subcommittee from 1962 to 1975.

Satellite constellations, a race is engaged

Covering 100% of the planet in Internet access from outer space, this is the project of several firms including SpaceX, Amazon and OneWeb; the objective is to send in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) thousands of small satellites or satellite constellations. Not all competitors are at the same level of progress in this project. What are the space legal issues there?