Miner urges global action to protect Earth’s Orbit learning from high seas mistakes
Fellows:Dr. Kimberley Miner
Kimberley Miner co-authored a letter in Science urging global action to protect Earth’s Orbit by learning from the insubstantial governance mistakes of the high seas.
The article begins:
“The global space industry is growing rapidly- the number of satellites in orbit is expected to increase from 9000 today to over 60,000 by 2030. In addition, it is estimated that more than 100 trillion untracked pieces of old satellites are already in orbit. Although the industries and countries using Earth's orbit are starting to consider sustainability, risks exist in responsibly managing such a vast area with no owner. Like the high seas, Earth’s orbit is seen as a global commons, where exploitation of what may appear to be a free resource is growing and the true costs of potential environmental damage are obscured. The exploitation of Earth's orbit is in its infancy but on a fast trajectory, highlighting the need for urgency. Attempts to protect the high seas have been slow and challenging. By learning from that process, we can avoid making similar mistakes as we work to prevent a tragedy of the commons in space.”