Submitted by: Diane Janosek
Space security is essential to global safety and prosperity. International treaties should modernize and reflect the world’s innovation in space and governance needs. One must look back to 1967 for the inaugural “Outer Space Treaty,” the first and only binding multilateral agreement for peaceful space use and exploration. In 50 years, technologies and space capabilities have evolved; an updated global treaty and agreement should be developed and evaluated. Both China and Russia have demonstrated their capability to degrade and/or destroy adversaries’ satellites in space. Space wars are no longer a hypothetical. The future once discussed and anxiously anticipated after Sputnik I is here. While the United States is maximizing efforts to protect and secure its satellites from harm, this activity may not be enough as international law on space security does not meet today’s needs. Now, more than ever, with the space security and cybersecurity realms intersecting, and with the achievement of adversarial space capabilities, there is a need to review and update the Outer Space Treaty. Recent weapons testing and the resultant challenges to keeping satellites in orbit have highlighted glaring the gaps in space governance. This domain is ripe for a new review to prevent the weaponization of outer space and potential international instability, and to secure satellites’ receipt and transfer of digital information, which is vital to all mankind’s way of life.
Diane M. Janosek, Innovative Thinking: Modernizing Outer Space Governance, 29 Cath. U. J. L. & Tech 63 (2021).
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