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Governing possible space collisions

As outer space is the last true global commons, it must remain available for global use, to the benefit of all humanity. The international community must act fast to design a system in which data-sharing on space activities becomes a norm and which incentivises spacefaring nations to avoid the over-congestion of key orbits.’

On 16 April, The Space Review published Space traffic control: technological means and governance implications, an article written by GCSP’s Head of Geopolitics and Global Futures Programme, Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan. The article discusses managing space traffic and the creation of an international framework for space traffic control.

Professor Al-Rodhan writes, ‘According to NASA, there are more than 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger, orbiting the Earth, travelling at speeds of up to 28,000 kilometres per hour, enough to damage a satellite or spacecraft upon contact. He continues, ‘the over-congestion of key orbits greatly decrease their utility as collisions become far more likely. Collisions between existing objects can create further debris, subsequently increasing the change of collision and jeopardising future space travel.’

Full article



GCSP expert Professor Nayef Al-Rodhan is running the Geopolitics and Global Futures Symposium from 20-22 June in Geneva. A three-day course: day one, Future of Outer Space Security; day two: Transformative Technologies and Security; day three: Neurophilosophy of Global Security.  

Register now