The Keys to Rule Them All: Sustainable Development of Orbital Resources
Space is getting crowded. Since the launch of Sputnik 1957, some 4600 space missions have launched from the Earth’s surface, less than 40% of which are still operational. The ever-increasing amount of orbital debris poses a threat to valuable space assets. New space situational awareness capabilities due to come online in the near future will appear to increase the number of orbiting objects by an order of magnitude. The apparent increase has the potential to bring greater public attention to the orbital debris problem, which makes now the ideal time for action. The solution proposed in this paper is an ‘International Clean Up Station.’ It would require the active participation of major space powers in order to mollify anti-satellite weapon concerns.