Catalyst: Space Law
Sept. 29, 2020
The exploration of space leads to newer and better technology, but there’s one part of space science that’s still dangerously low-tech: the rules. Indeed, most places away from our planet are a kind of new wild west, with no sheriff, and no judges. Steve Filmer shows us why space will soon need both technology and law in this segment of Catalyst.
This problem arises from how much we’re invading space. It started off with only a couple people being sent off into space to multiple countries now. Borders can divide countries but can countries claim the space above them as well? Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, Timiebi Aganaba-Jeanty, weighs in.
“Space is mostly empty, but as we fill it with things like rovers, satellites and people, we’re setting a stage for possible conflicts, conflicts that could start with something as small as bashing another guy’s satellite.”
There’s many more objections to how space is being handled. Especially since there’s no boundary for where aerospace ends and outer space begins. America is no longer celebrating the landing on the moon, many other countries have followed quickly.
“A couple of years ago, India launched a mission at a cost of 54 million dollars, which is 10 percent of the U.S. cost. January 2019, China was the first to land on the South side of the moon and plant seeds there. A month later, Israel was the first commercial company to send a lander — to attempt to send a lander to the moon.”
Although, it’s seen as revolutionary work there’s still a competition of who got there first.
“So we still have these notions, and I think they probably will never go away. All I can say is that, I hope we do a lot more international missions and cooperative missions so that we can work together to build trust and minimize a lot of the misunderstandings that we have in the space context.”
All of these developments are important for what the future means in space.