Space sustainability is a concept that has emerged within the past 10 years to refer to a set of concerns relating to outer space as an environment for carrying out space activities safely and without interference and also to concerns about ensuring continuity of the benefits derived on Earth from space activities. As such, it encompasses the concerns of both space actors and those who are not space actors but who nevertheless benefit from space activities. This chapter reviews the role of the various relevant United Nations entities in ensuring space sustainability and provides a detailed review of the Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities within the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of COPUOS. Finally, the chapter discusses the relationship of the work in UN COPUOS with related work being done in the Conference on Disarmament, the UN Group of Governmental Experts (GGE) on Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures in Outer Space Activities, and the initiative by the European Union to propose a draft international Code of Conduct for outer space activities.
KeywordsEurope Arena International Atomic Energy Agency
- Hedman N, Balogh W (2009) The United Nations and outer space: celebrating 50 years of space achievements. In: Schrogl K-U, Mathieu C, Peter N (eds) Yearbook on space policy 2007/2008: from policies to programmes. Springer Wien, New York, pp 237–250. ISBN 978-3-211-99090-2Google Scholar
- Outer Space Treaty (1967) The full text of the Treaty, Article VI. Available at http://www.unoosa.org/oosa/en/SpaceLaw/index.html
- Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, Annex Our Common Future, UN document A/42/427. Accessed at http://www.un-documents.net/wced-ocf.htm
- Weeden B (2010) Dealing with Galaxy 15: Zombiesats and on-orbit servicing. In: The space review, Edition of 24 May 2010. Accessed at http://thespacereview.com/article/1634/1