29/09/2021

Blogpost #2: Space Sustainability: The Time To Act Is Now

30 September 2021

One of our most precious limited natural resources is outer space. While outer space seems infinite, it is in fact, a limited resource especially when looked at from the operation of satellites and other space systems. Accordingly, like any other limited natural resource, it is imperative that it be properly managed to ensure the long term sustainability of the space resource. This is especially true as we are seeing increasing demand to the space resource from the proliferation of new non-geostationary orbit satellite systems as well as other space-based systems including for tourism, mining and so much more! Action must be taken now to preserve this critical resource and ensure the long term sustainability of space.

The future sustainability of outer space is critical for so much of what the Earth relies on. For example, today our satellites provide a wealth of communications services from providing broadband service to consumers across the globe, providing critical communications services, including navigation, on ships, planes and other modes of transport, providing location accuracy and precision navigation, monitoring the earth for climate change,

While the commercial satellite industry today follows existing requirements and has developed best practices to protect this resource, this is not sufficient as recognized by the G7 and G20. With the growing proliferation of use of outer space, additional action must be taken by governments today. ESOA’s White Paper, Space Sustainability: The Time to Act is Now is an important call by the commercial satellite industry appropriately calls for the creation of a technology-neutral, flexible regime to advance the goal of space sustainability . By acting now to adopt a regime that focused on three areas: space debris mitigation; space situational awareness; and remediation and disposal, we can ensure that the future of space is protected.

By Jennifer A. Manner
Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs – ECHOSTAR/Hughes
ESOA Network & Services Chair