Legal Aspects Relating to Satellite Constellations
Satellite constellations represent a new paradigm of space activities, with vast numbers of smaller satellites operated in the so-called NewSpace industry. With the tide of potential applications and benefits to mankind come risks, notably that of the increased population of low Earth orbit and potential for increases in space debris. This article discusses the legal ramifications of the proposed constellations, including the current legal framework around space debris and collisions, and potential challenges, including lack of legal definitions for space debris and fault making liability difficult to prove. Potential mechanisms for clarification are also discussed.