DOI: 10.5553/IISL/2021064001005

International Institute of Space LawAccess_open


The European Space Situational Awareness Legal Framework as an Example of Top-Down Approach Applicable to Future European Space Traffic Management-Related Initiatives

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    The development of a Space Traffic Management (STM) international framework aiming at guaranteeing the security, safety, and sustainability of outer space activities is deemed crucial and undelayable. As a starting point, this paper will consider the development of a European “regional” approach to STM. Hitherto in Europe, most STM-related issues are addressed through a bottom-up approach, centred around the sovereign competence of national governments. Nevertheless, in the SSA/SST domain, the willingness of Europe to reach a degree of autonomy in the field and to contribute to global burden-sharing has led the European Space Agency first, and the European Union then, to adopt the first collaborative frameworks concerning the SSA. This paper aims to investigate the topical elements of such programmes, with a particular focus on the top-down elements of the regulatory frameworks to be considered in the development of a future European STM capability.

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