New CSIS report raises concerns about lack of governing norms in space

The report mentions that there is little progress in making rules and norms of behavior in space even though commercial and government activities in space keep growing.

New CSIS report raises concerns about lack of governing norms in space
New CSIS report raises concerns about lack of governing norms in space

New CSIS report raises concerns about lack of governing norms in space

Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) issued a report in which it focuses on three important aspects: orbital debris mitigation, rendezvous and proximity operations and insurance requirements. The report mentions that there is little progress in making rules and norms of behavior in space even though commercial and government activities in space keep growing.

SpaceNews quoted Kaitlyn Johnson, CSIS analyst as saying that they believe that the global landscape of national space policies concerning space sustainability, rendezvous and proximity operations, and insurance requirements is uneven and irregular. She added that without clear national regulations and policies, the challenge to find international consensus and define technical standards for key issues in space governance remains bleak.

Some central points made in the study:

  • The lack of agreed international norms and processes for space traffic management increases the danger of collisions in space which is damaging to space sustainability and may be devastating to many companies.
  • There is little to no consensus on definitions for space situational awareness, space traffic management, space debris mitigation or even space sustainability.
  • Without coherent international actions to manage the risk of debris, it falls on private space companies to adopt responsible satellite design and operational practices to ensure a sustainable space environment.
  • Rendezvous and proximity operations are poorly defined and international norms of behavior and technical standards are a must now.
  • Space insurance represents a global mismatch. Some nations need higher levels of liability insurance, requiring startups to spend on average 33 percent of the satellite cost on space insurance whereas others do not. Additionally, there is a flux of insurance providers entering and leaving the market, which increases the uncertainty.