Accession Number : ADA553047


Title :   The Space Debris Crisis: Time for an International Treaty


Descriptive Note : Strategy Research Project


Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA


Personal Author(s) : Hollandsworth, III, Edgar M


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a553047.pdf


Report Date : 23 Mar 2011


Pagination or Media Count : 38


Abstract : The growth of man-made debris in Earth s orbits has accelerated in the past decade to the point that uncontrolled cascading collisions between debris and active spacecraft is now occurring in low Earth orbit (LEO). A Chinese anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test in 2007 and the Cosmos-Iridium collision in 2009 added significantly to the mass of debris in LEO. The space powers are now confronted with a stark choice: either work together to actively manage their use of the space environment, or learn to live without it. Current national policies and practices, space law, and international voluntary guidelines for mitigation of space debris offer a necessary, but insufficient, strategic solution to the space debris crisis. A radically new governance regime, codified in a legally-binding treaty, is needed to actively manage the space environment around Earth. The main objective of this treaty would be to ensure Earth s orbits do not become so congested that their use would become too dangerous or expensive. This regime would require space powers to cooperate to share limited orbital resources and space situational awareness information to a degree that has never been attempted before.


Descriptors :   *ANTISATELLITE DEFENSE SYSTEMS , *ARTIFICIAL SATELLITES , *INTERNATIONAL LAW , *SPACE SHUTTLES , ACCELERATED TESTING , CHINA , COLLISIONS , DEBRIS , EARTH ORBITS , EARTH(PLANET) , INTERNATIONAL , ORBITS , POLICIES , SITUATIONAL AWARENESS , SPACE ENVIRONMENTS , SPACECRAFT , TEST AND EVALUATION , TREATIES , WEAPONS


Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Unmanned Spacecraft
      Manned Spacecraft


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE