News World Space legislation, towards a much-needed renovation

Space legislation, towards a much-needed renovation

Experts in the field call for changes in the laws that govern activity in space

“If two satellites are on a collision course, who gets out of their path? Who has the right of way? There are no rules on that.”

These words of the Doctor Bleddyn Bowen, an expert in special politics, perfectly summarize the current situation of space legislation. Over the past 30 years, more and more private players have joined what began as a public sector-led industry. And now experts call for more regulation of activity in space.

Private sector involvement began with satellites. Today, some companies also often provide services to state agencies. For example, SpaceX capsules carry most astronauts to and from the International Space Station. Why is this collaboration so attractive?

“It’s not just about funding,” explains the head of Communication at the European Space Agency, Philippe Willekens. “It’s more of a mindset thing. It’s more about focus. It’s more about how these new players are carrying out and developing space projects. It’s the perfect fit for the public sector. As a public sector, we are no longer alone.”

Most private companies are, however, startups or start-ups that do not work with public agencies. They are mainly dedicated to putting satellites in Earth orbit for the purposes of data collection, communication or navigation. **It is cheaper than before, which means that its number continues to increase.

**A somewhat outdated treatise


The 1967 United Nations Outer Space Treaty laid the foundations for space law. But, according to Dr. Bowden, over time this has become too generic, which has given rise to serious problems about such elementary things here on Earth as the right of way.

“Unfortunately, there have been cases in the past where the space agency contacted a private company because they were on a collision course. And the private company wouldn’t pick up the phone! There was no response. So the agency government spacecraft ended up diverting its satellite”.

A more than clarifying example of the need to change certain points of a somewhat obsolete legislation in the 21st century.

Source: Euronews Espanol



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