The concept of space traffic management as a basis for achieving the fair and equitable use of outer space
Fairness and equitability in the use of outer space can be reached in various ways. They could be approached through single steps and actions, or they could be approached through applying a comprehensive new concept for regulating space activities. Such a concept is Space Traffic Management (STM). STM received its first full conceptualisation in a study published in 2006 by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA).138 Following this, numerous academic studies as well as practitioners’ activities have been undertaken to further refine and give substance to this concept. In parallel, major policy initiatives (the EU Draft Code of Conduct, the proposal by the former UNCOPUOS Chairman Gerard Brachet on the sustainable use of outer space and the proposal by the currentUNCOPUOS Chairman Ciro Arévalo Yepes on a UN space policy) have addressed the content of STM. This article will set out the policy and legal framework for STM139 and provide links to the current policy initiatives. It further explains how STM can be used as the framework and enabler for introducing elements of fairness and equitability in the use of outer space.
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