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Article

The Principle of Non-Appropriation and the Exclusive Uses of LEO by Large Satellite Constellations

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 8 2018
Keywords Non-Appropriation Principle, LEO, Exclusive Use, Large Satellite Constellation, Mega Constellation
Authors Yuri Takaya-Umehara, Quentin Verspieren and Goutham Karthikeyan
AbstractAuthor's information

    Newly proposed projects of large satellite constellations are challenging the established business models of the satellite industry. Targeting the Low Earth Orbit (LEO), already the most populated orbit for space applications, these constellations pose an increasing risk regarding the sustainable use of outer space. According to the Inter- Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), presenting at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN COPUOS in 2018, the implementation level of the IADC Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines in LEO is considered as “insufficient and no apparent trend towards a better implementation is observed", when compared with GEO. In parallel, 11 private entities such as OneWeb, Telesat and SpaceX have applied for approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to initiate large satellite constellation projects.
    Before the launch of these massive constellations, several legal issues have been identified from the perspectives of international obligations related to liability and registration. Taking them into consideration, as well as the IADC recommendations, the present article reviews one of the most fundamental principles in space law, the principle of non-appropriation, to clarify its applicability to the exclusive use of specific LEO orbits by large satellite constellations. After this clarification, the paper concludes with proposals for possible solutions.


Yuri Takaya-Umehara
The University of Tokyo.

Quentin Verspieren
The University of Tokyo.

Goutham Karthikeyan
The University of Tokyo & Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (ISAS-JAXA).

Yuri Takaya-Umehara
Lecturer, Kobe University, Japan

Yuri Takaya-Umehara
Any views in this article pertain to the first author only. Kobe University, Japan, yuritakaya_japan@hotmail.com.

Seiji Matsuda
IHI Aerospace Co, Ltd., Japan, matsuda-s@iac.ihi.co.jp.

Takayoshi Fuji
Japan Space Systems, Japan, fuji-takayoshi@jspacesystems.or.jp.

Mitsuteru Kaneoka
CSP Japan, Inc., Japan, kaneoka@csp.co.jp.
Article

TCBMs over the Military Use of Outer Space

Peace in Space: Transparency and Confidence Building Measures

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2009
Authors Y. Takaya-Umehara

Y. Takaya-Umehara
Article

Verification Mechanism for Peaceful uses of Outer Space

Weaponisation of Outer Space in the Light of the Outer Space Treaty

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2008
Authors Y. Takaya-Umehara

Y. Takaya-Umehara
Article

Report of the 51st Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space in Glasgow, Scotland, September 2008

Glasgow Session Reports

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 6 2008
Authors C. Doldirina, F. Tronchetti, Y. Takaya-Umehara e.a.

C. Doldirina

F. Tronchetti

Y. Takaya-Umehara

S. Ospina

C. Constant-Jorgenson
Article

Enforcing the Verification Mechanism of the Registry for Space Arms Control

Other Legal Matters II, Including Legal Aspects of Property Rights on the Moon

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 4 2005
Authors Y. Takaya-Umehara

Y. Takaya-Umehara
Article

The Usage of Space Weapons and International Law

Other Legal Matters: Telecommunications, NPS, and Military Implications

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2004
Authors Y. Takaya

Y. Takaya

Y. Takaya
Article

GNSS for Military Uses or Peaceful Uses?

Legal Implications of Military Uses of Outer Space

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 3 2002
Authors Y. Takaya

Y. Takaya
Article

Legal Constituencies and Economic Efficiencies of Space Solar Power (SSP): A Joint Japanese And American Perspective

19th IAA-IISL Scientific-Legal Roundtable in Toulouse, France, 2001: "Scientific and Legal Implications of Establishing Solar Power Systems on the Geostationary Orbit"

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 5 2001
Authors A.C. Charania and Y. Takaya

A.C. Charania

Y. Takaya
Article

Space Tourism and Permanent Human Settlement: The Legal and Regulatory Issues

State Responsibility for Liability and Non-State Space Activities

Journal International Institute of Space Law, Issue 2 2000
Authors Y. Takaya and R. Lee

Y. Takaya

R. Lee
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