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The UN Could Finally Create New Rules for Space

Wired: “On Monday [November 1, 2021], a group of diplomats from the United Kingdom proposed that the United Nations set up a group to develop new norms of international behavior in space, with the aim of preventing the kinds of misunderstandings that could lead to war. As spacefaring nations advance their military satellite capabilities, including being able to disrupt or damage other satellites, such provocative behavior could escalate already-tense diplomatic situations—and create more space debris in low earth orbit, a crucial region that’s already chock-full of derelict spacecraft. This is the first significant progress in developing space rules in more than four decades. The most important piece of space law, the Outer Space Treaty, was negotiated by the fledgling space powers in 1967. “Meanwhile, space is getting increasingly complicated,” says Victoria Samson, the Washington office director for the Secure World Foundation, a nonpartisan think tank based in Broomfield, Colorado. There are many players in space now; new kinds of cyberweapons and lasers can jam, dazzle, or spoof satellites; and tens of thousands of satellites are orbiting in the sky…”

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