Wealthy nations carving up space and its riches, leaving others behind

Sat, 14 May 2022 06:51:05 GMT
Space Daily

Tempe AZ (The Conversation) May 13, 2022 Satellites help run the internet and television and are...

Where to park a satellite Thanks to the rapid commercialization, miniaturization and plummeting costs of satellite technology in recent years, more countries are able to reap the benefits of space.

These, too, are filling up - adding to the growing problem of space debris.

At the current rate, the major space players are rapidly occupying geostationary and low Earth orbits, potentially monopolizing access to important satellite capabilities and adding to space junk.

Access to resources in space Orbital slots are an area where inequity exists today.

Existing international space laws are not well suited to handle the complicated web of private companies and nations competing for resources in space.

Countries are organizing into groups - or "Space blocs" - that are uniting on goals and rules for future space missions.

Two notable space blocs are planning missions to set up bases and potential mining operations on the Moon: the Artemis Accords, led by the U.S., as well as joint Chinese and Russian plans.

There is a risk that instead of focusing on what is best for everyone on Earth, competition will drive these decisions, damaging the space environment and causing conflict.

Space access will only become more important as humanity rapidly advances toward a future of space hotels and colonies on Mars.

The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the founding document of space law, says that space should be used "For the benefit and in the interests of all countries." The policies taking shape will dictate whether this is the case in the future.

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