Why Outer Space Matters: Major Susan Trepczynski with a Brief Intro on International Space Law

Why Outer Space Matters: Major Susan Trepczynski with a Brief Intro on International Space Law

In our fourth post on Why Outer Space matters, Major Susan Trepczynski gives a brief introduction of International Space Law. She explains the international legal regime around space activities, which include four multilateral treaties: the 1967 Outer Space Treaty, the Rescue and Return Agreement, the 1972 Liability Convention, and the 1975 Registration Convention. Despite evolving technologies and the transformation of space activities from an exclusively governmental pursuit to one with increasing commercial equities, the original text of each treaty remains operative today.

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Why Outer Space Matters: Brian Weeden on Natural and Human-Generated Threats on Satellites

Why Outer Space Matters: Brian Weeden on Natural and Human-Generated Threats on Satellites

In our third post on Why Outer Space Matters, Brian Weeden discusses the natural and human-generated threats to satellites. Outer space has a tendency to be viewed as a peaceful, serene domain, where satellites can orbit around the Earth in relative solitude to perform what ever missions they were designed for. But in reality, outer space is a harsh domain, and full of both human-generated and natural threats that pose considerable challenges to space missions. As humanity’s use of, and reliance on, satellites and space capabilities grows, the threats could jeopardize the long-term sustainability of the space environment, and our ability to continue to use space for benefits on Earth.

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Why Outer Space Matters: Krystal Wilson on Humanitarian Uses of Space

Why Outer Space Matters: Krystal Wilson on Humanitarian Uses of Space

In our second post on Why Outer Space Matters, Krystal Wilson of the Secure World Foundation writes about the humanitarian applications of space. It’s easy to think of space as far away, as the domain of wealthy countries, as science fiction, as cool technology, as something far off in the future. In reality, it’s essential for being able to respond to humanitarian crises right now. Space-based capabilities, particularly weather, communication, navigation, and Earth observation satellites, contribute to every phase of humanitarian work from damage assessment to early recovery to community building to disaster and conflict risk reduction. Satellites are an integral part of forming a comprehensive understanding of a location in crisis, supporting logistics, ongoing decision-making, and even public outreach.

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New Intercross Series: Why Outer Space Matters

New Intercross Series: Why Outer Space Matters

The ICRC recently participated in the Inaugural Plenary of the MILAMOS Project, which aims to develop a widely-accepted manual clarifying the fundamental rules applicable to the military use of outer space, in times of peace, as well as in periods of tension and in armed conflict. To coincide with the launch, Intercross introduces our newest series, Why Outer Space Matters. 

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