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DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/12/S02.084

SPACE DEBRIS – A PROBLEM OF MANKIND

M. Pietkiewicz
Thursday 28 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-14-0 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 1, Vol 2, 673-678 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/12/S02.084

ABSTRACT

According to the European Space Agency statistics posted on July 2013, the orbit contains a curious number of debris. Specifically, there are more than 170 million debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), and about 670,000 debris ranging between 1 and 10 cm. Further, around 29,000 larger debris were estimated to be in orbit. Figures from the U.S Strategic Command drafted report indicate that in the Earth’s orbit, there are 17,852 artificial objects, including 1,419 operational satellites. Due to the fact that we can count 5 international treaties (pacts, agreements) and a lot of “bi” and “multi” lateral agreements, it is imperative to regulate matters relating to “space junk”. The Outer Space Treaty is an Act that was enforced in 1967, implying that to date, 5 decades have elapsed. It is evident that from this time, the world’s population has grown exponentially. With its growth, the innovative technologies have also grown. Yearly, people send into space new satellites, probes, and telescopes. There are laws that govern how to launch an object into space, even though the laws that relate to space debris remain vague. A critical analysis of the legal regulations relating to the protection of environment on Earth reveals that the current laws are not sufficient. By simply looking in the sky, it is impossible to see how much junk the orbit contains. This remains a sensitive cause for concern and calls for prompt attention.

Keywords: space debris, international legal regulation, international responsibility, outer space, space exploration