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The Need For A Global Response To Space Debris Problem

2364 words - 10 pages




Submitted by
Poorvi G. Kantroo
LL.M, NALSAR University of Law


The Earth’s orbit is a unique, limited, and an incredibly precious resource. The properties of this part of spaceSpace allow humans to utilize thousands of satellites for research, national defence, and communications. Like so many of Earth's fragile regions, its Earth orbit too has been greatly tainted affected by human activity. AFor a variety of reasons including but not limited to s, human Space exploration and the commercialization ...view middle of the document...

In addition to the alarming possibility that radioactive debris can re-enter the atmosphere, it also presents a safety hazard for manned spaceSpace operations.

The most important law dealing with human activity in spaceSpace is the Outer SpaceSpace Treaty. Although it is binding but it does not address the problems of pollution and overcrowding in spaceSpace. It only also simply creates a procedural hurdle for activities that may harm another state's interests; but it does not impose an absolute injunction against such actions. The Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by SpaceSpace Objects (“Liability Convention”) established a basic framework of tort law applicable to spaceSpace activities .Under the Liability Convention, states cannot be held liable for polluting the Earth’s orbit with debris unless that debris harms a person or property. Various other non-binding guidelines such as The Nuclear Power Principles, Inter-Agency SpaceSpace Debris Coordination Committee etc. are were drafted at an international level.

In the light of the above, a survey of relevant laws, treaties, and guidelines will show that while states and international organizations have broached the debris problem, but that the current policies leave depart many issues unresolved. There is a need to plug fill up the gaps in existing legal frameworklaw to address some of the remaining problems in better wayefficiently. Looking at the gravity of the spaceSpace debris, the dawn of the SpaceSpace Age has spurned the need for a new category of law: international spaceSpace law. This section will begin by reviewing the treaties originated by the UN that filled this void, followed by a study of non-binding but influential resolutions, policies, and guidelines that are pertinent to the spaceSpace debris problem.

Identification of the problem

Since the dawn of the SpaceSpace Age, Earth’s orbit has become a highly utilized environment. The heavy traffic of man-made satellites has led to a large quantity of debris in orbit that greatly diminishes the detracts from the value thatof the Earth orbit provides to mankind. Various laws, regulations, and guidelines address spaceSpace debris at different levels of governmentgovernance, but currently, there is no strong international law, which serves this purpose. There are two primary obstacles which hinder are hindering the effective mitigation of spaceSpace debris on an international level. The first obstacle is the lack of a standard definition for ‘spaceSpace debris’ and ‘spaceSpace objects’ in the existing sSpaceSpace treaties, agreements, and conventions. The lack of an accepted definition blurs the lines forscope of legal responsibility and accountability. The second obstacle is the lack of a cCommon accepted legal framework for mitigating the SpaceSpace Debris on an international level. The two obstacles continue to hinder the domestic nations efforts toto come to a consensus regarding the...

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