Compensation for damage caused by space debris – just pie in the sky?Posted: 11 June, 2021 Filed under: Jaymion Hendricks | Tags: air, Claims Commission, compensation, damage, international law, Liability Convention, orbital launches, Outer Space Treaty, re-entering, rocket launches, space, space debris, space exploration, space junk, space law, SpaceX, telecommunications law, The Hague Leave a comment
Author: Jaymion Hendricks
Space launches have increased significantly in recent years and despite the global pandemic, the year 2020 (together with 2018) marked one in which the most orbital launches took place (114 launches, 104 of which were successful flights). In the past, space activity was mainly undertaken by a handful of well-resourced countries. With the increasing commercialisation of space, there has been a proliferation of private and public space activity. It follows that heightened space activity results in frequent launches which may increase the risk of accidents on the surface of the earth or to aircraft in flight. The risk, however, remains negligible if space actors adhere to the highest technical, safety and environmental standards. The minimal risk is generally outweighed by the economic value and social benefit of outer space activity (scientific knowledge, weather forecasting, telecommunications and earth observation etc.).