United States Law and Policy on Space Debris

  • Zhuang Tian
Part of the Studies in Space Policy book series (STUDSPACE, volume 16)


The purpose of this article is to analyze how the problem of space debris is dealt with on the national level. The law and policy of the U.S. will serve as an example for such analysis. The U.S. has established a comprehensive legal regime and has promulgated several national policies to confront the space debris challenge. The function of implementation and regulation of space activities is divided among several national agencies in the U.S. Each agency has developed its own rules and standards on space debris. These rules and standards conform to the best practices as contained in the space debris mitigation guidelines. On the policy level, it has been three decades since the issue of space debris was first mentioned in U.S. national space policy, and there has been a constant concern over space debris ever since. The evolution of U.S. national space policy on space debris can be summarized as from interior to exterior, from general to elaborate, and from debris mitigation to debris remediation.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhuang Tian
    • 1
  1. 1.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands

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