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The Legal Status of MegaLEO Constellations and Concerns About Appropriation of Large Swaths of Earth Orbit

  • Christopher D. JohnsonEmail author
Living reference work entry

Abstract

The emergence and near-term bringing into use of constellations of very numerous satellite constellations raises issues of unwanted and possibly impermissible appropriation of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) or portions thereof. Currently, coordination of orbital “slots” occurs only in the Geostationary Orbit (GSO), and there are no restrictive rules preventing individual actors, including both States and private entities, from deploying very numerous spacecraft into LEO. MegaLEO constellations may utilize LEO orbits to such an extent that other actors might be excluded from using these orbits. This chapter will explore explicit rights and obligations, principles of general nature, and economic and political aspects of addressing this emerging issue.

Keywords

Constellations Global constellations Kepler Communications Low Earth Orbit Megaconstellations National appropriation OneWeb Outer Space Treaty Small satellites SpaceX Space law Space situational awareness Space traffic management Starlink Telecommunications law 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Secure World FoundationWashingtonUSA

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