How can 20th century space laws catch super fast tech? We’re still playing catch-up

Cosmos Magazine


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By Cosmos

Outer space is not free of regulation, but it’s certainly not flush with it either, writes Jamie Seidel at Cosmos Weekly.

A hubcap rolls down the road. A car swerves out of its lane to avoid it – into oncoming traffic. The resulting carnage sends people to hospital, tow trucks scrambling and insurance companies to their lawyers.

It’s an unholy mess. And that’s despite the well-established processes of assigning responsibility and liability.

But what if the hubcap was a rocket faring?

What if the car was a satellite? And the lanes, orbits?

Then there’s the matter of every new fragment becoming yet another deadly hubcap …

It’s a threat that can end humanity’s access to space.

What if two countries want to mine the same crater on the moon or an asteroid? Who gets access to already crowded orbital highways? What constitutes an act of war?

And that’s why – against all the odds – the world is bringing itself to do something about it.

“Space technology has raced forward and the law has not kept pace with all the new things we are doing.”

–Steven Freeland

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