Space Debris Mounting Global Menace Legal Issues Pertaining to Space Debris Removal: Ought to Revamp Existing Space Law Regime


Space debris is global mounting ultimatum to the enduring maintainability of the Outer Space activities and it ought to be deal in the very beginning. Otherwise, it will be too late. From the last couple of years, the rate at which the space activities have, resulted in the production of debris at very threshold position in a linear fashion. Ultimately, it has become the rendezvous of space debris general place. From couples of years ago, some incidents of collisions have enhanced the space debris accumulation, now crowded the corridor of earth orbit which constitutes the most serious pollutant of the near-earth space environment. Innovations in space applications have enhanced not only our awareness about universe but also daily lives world widely. Actually, the space treaties law neither explicitly forbids the production of space debris nor levies responsibility on the states to remove space debris. Because the absence of definition of space debris reveals the unending ambiguity between space debris and space object. There is no any legal procedure and mechanism available in existing space law regime to remove the space debris. Furthermore, who has the authority to take decision for the removal of space debris from the outer space? International space law does not permit interruption with space objects without the preceding approval from the launching State. This paper focuses on the legal and organizational challenges suggesting to revamp the fuzzy prevailing international space law regime to encounter incoming legal aspects.

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Sheer, A. and Li, S. (2019) Space Debris Mounting Global Menace Legal Issues Pertaining to Space Debris Removal: Ought to Revamp Existing Space Law Regime. Beijing Law Review, 10, 423-440. doi: 10.4236/blr.2019.103025.

1. Introduction

From the centuries, outer space and the moon have been remained a source of inspiration for humans. The first satellite, SPUTNIK (Sullivan, 1957), and the moon walk of Neil Armstrong (Wilford, MacLeish, Rugaber, & Schmeck, 1969) marked the dawn of space age. The development of science and technology has enabled the inspection, observation and usage of outer space to become the reality by outer space and then the race began in the shape of cold war and eventually the space development evolved. More than five decades of space bustles by the different space actors have leftover debris garbage in the environment that is everlasting risks to furnish the outer space environment vulnerable (Listner, 2012). Empirical evidence has shown that traditional “fire and forget” and “big skies” mentalities have resulted in an accumulation of this debris at a threatening level (Dunstan & Werb, 2009). Though the risk associated with debris accumulation was identified early (Davison & Winslow Jr, 1961), the full extent of the hazardous was not realized for several years (Kessler & Cour-Palais, 1978). Space-faring nations have only recently begun to heed the warnings of orbital debris proliferation (Johnson, 2010). It is now widely recognized that controlling debris production is crucial for maintaining space security and, in turn, international peace and security (Wright, 2007). The (ILA) was forced to formulate the “International Instrument on the Protection of Environment from Damage Produced by the Space Debris” (Boeckstiegel, 1996), and these instructions have also been conceded by the STSC of UNCOPUOS (ASTROBUSINESS, 1996).

A decade ago, the intended or coincidental in-orbit breaking-ups, striking and flare-ups were observed. China’s deliberated (ASAT) test and very grave coincidental hit of a deactivated Russian satellite with the US functional satellite were two major episodes resulted dirty fog of space debris (Hall, 2014; Weeden, 2010). Currently, China’s Tiangong-1 space station was knocked down towards the Earth, pouring debris on the surface of Pacific Ocean that has enriched ashes residue. The United States registered a record of 308,984 probable space-junk hits in 2017, and the situation might become aggravated, which is very alarming for outer space, and the US announced at least 655 “alarming-reportable” ultimatums from satellite operators (Mosher, 2016). Thus, the rapid growth of space debris creates a threat to functional satellites, the ISS, and astronauts (Hall, 2014). The catastrophic possibility of the smallest debris particle from comparative effective momentum in the orbits is giant and towering. The mean momentum of orbital debris compared with a space object will be almost 10 km/1 secs, and this is equal to approximately ten times the speed of a bullet in the LEO. Resultantly, a hit from even a minuscule piece of debris will produce a substantial amount of energy (Johnson, Krisko, Liou, & Anz-Meador, 2001). The elevating mass of space debris may result in a girdle of debris encompassing the Earth that poses the risk of chain reaction (Kessler & Cour-Palais, 1978) and may begin to increase in an unmanageable manner because of a striking chain reaction (Walker, Martin, Stokes, Wilkinson, & Klinkrad, 2001). Ultimately, this phenomenon will enhance the chances of collision ten times and soon endanger all functional space vehicles if the space debris population remains increasing and steady. There is apprehension regarding debris hitting on the Earth’s atmosphere and then breaking up, creating a very grave threat to the population (Liou & Johnson, 2008). A supplementary “growth feature” which may furthermore effect space debris proliferation is reputed “macro-constellations” that will involve large numbers of petty satellites with a minor running lifetime and constrained steering aptitude (Popova & Schaus, 2018; Radtke, Stoll, Lewis, & Bastida Virgili, 2017). Currently, approximately 1000 energetic satellites in the Low Earth Orbit are with the publicized One Web macro-constellation network, and this figure will virtually increase twofold (Foreman, Siddiqi, & De Weck, 2017). Additionally, if altogether three constellations on the list are propelled, it will product in decuple escalation in the LEO satellite populace of debris reveals that we are at the deleterious situation.

2. Inadequacies in the Legal Structure Pertaining to Space Debris Removal

2.1. Definition & Identification of Space Debris for its Eradication

Actually, the space treaties law neither explicitly forbids the production of space debris nor levies responsibility on the states to remove space debris. No global solidarity or agreement on the heated issue of identification and the definition of space debris has ever been observed. Basically, the main query is whether malfunctional and maloperational satellites are assumed to be space debris. The main purpose is to reveal the not ending ambiguity be there “space debris” tantamount into space object (Chatterjee, 2014). It has become crucial to mark a dissimilarity among the “space object” and particles of “space debris” due to the absence of an obvious judicial definition, which presents substantial confusion in the implementation of rights and the obligations attributed to the maneuvering states. To identify space debris, it is mandatory to research the meaning of “space debris.” Unfortunately, the prevailing space-law establishment has not provided a description of “space debris.” The functioning term stated in these legal documents is “space object” (Kerrest & Thro, 2016). As stated in Article VII of the OST (Ireland, 1967), the maneuvering state will be deemed to be globally responsible for harm created by an object that took off into outer space or fragments or elements thereof. And this postulate is replicated in Article II of (LC) (Burke, 1984), wherein it says that “A maneuvering state shall be completely responsible to compensate for destruction created by its space object either over to exterior of Earth or towards flying aircraft.” Furthermore, Article III of (LC) also stresses the same criteria, to ascertain the liability to compensate for harm to areas other than the exterior of the Earth. Thus, for the identification of space debris, a bonafide description of “space object” is absolutely heightened by the certainty that “the base of compensation is harm which is created by a space object” (Rosenfield, 1979).

2.1.1. What Is Space Object?

smooth foregoing publicize of space law treaties, a “space vehicle” as sketched to put into the orbit like the satellite of Earth or further celestial body, or to be caused to cross some extra avenue in space” (Hosenball, 1979) defined by the Convention for the Establishment of a European Organization for the Development and Construction of Space Vehicle Launchers (ELDO). The Declaration of Legal Principles 1963 (Resolution, 1963) that performs like the herald to the Outer Space Treaty 1967, Space object has never been clarified but only mentioned as object sent into the outer space and its constituent ingredients thereof.” By inferring such wording, OST 1967 has mentioned in the Articles VII and VIII about “space object” that an object maneuvered into orbit, plus objects make a landing or built on a celestial body. It was first one global agreement,

The Liability Convention, strived to describe “space object” such as

“Component parts of a space object as well as its launch vehicle and parts thereof.” (Reijnen, 1992) While The Registration Convention embraced the same description in Article I (b) (Gorove, 1976).

Such elucidation is unable to interpret the terminology comprehensively whereas solely dispensing a foggy immense limitation for such terminology. Furthermore, it lacks inclusion of operational as a final yardstick (Crawford, Pellet, & Olleson, 2010). The word “space object” has not well-defined yet in the international space law. And the most important it is quiet when a space object or its constituent or scrappy fragments, halts to be a “space object”, suppose that there is not at all revamp in standing condition of these splitting space objects still sustained to stand considered as “space object” according to space law, after that actual dominion and command will remain to the maneuvering State which has got registered it (Tennen, 1979). The description of a “space object” explained by the Baker in his superb paper work over lawful position of debris, Wherein He postulated that any object which is prepared for launching, or already took off whether put into the orbit or afar; or it is any participatory used as a source of transportation of any object, Moreover, any part thereof or any object on board which becomes detachment, emission, and maneuvering or thrown, either intentionally or non- intentionally due to combustion of the first-stage boosters (Baker, 1988). It is recommended that the elucidation of space object should be “unprejudiced, in favor of a faultless sufferer as the intent of the Liability Convention for example victim-oriented law” (Wolcott, 1979).

Thus, “space object” should be rendered a vast clarification including objects sketched or manufactured in the outer space under the reign or dominion of (LC) to guarantee that States never disregard regulation while manufacturing assembling, and sketching space (Diederiks-Verschoor, 1993).

it is imperative to discourse the problems emerging from the standing position of satellites whose parts have been acquire from operational ingredients of “space debris” rescued or overhauled in the outer space. It’s actually non-technical far-flung fantasy because the chief aim supervision of the US Phoenix program DARPA is concentrated on processing of the space assets (Barnhart, 1987). So foregoing discourse was on the legal description of space object, while the next sub-section will discuss the elucidation of the space debris.

2.1.2. What Is Space Debris?

Not any of the prevailing space law treaties described what forms “space debris” particularly. Almost “Space objects” has been found frequently that remain visible in the all space treaties and, by needful connection, space objects encompass space debris. The clarification space debris description has become inevitable especially when it takes into consideration how, what, and by whom it may or should detach from the space? When any object put into the outer space (or component parts thereof) will, early or subsequently, turns into space debris, it is very imperative to describe and envisage the subject matter in the terms of features and formation as well for unanimity about the burning matter of space debris. While there is lack of global acknowledgment about describing space debris, there are three crucial elements which have been inspected in space law treaties to connect the space debris to the state obligatory. Those elements are: a) the insertion of space debris as a sort of “space object”; b) the query about liability accrue as a result of space debris; and c) the command and control on akin “space object” as conceived in lawful documents (Ferrazzani & ESA, 1999).

If a layman defines space debris, it is any piece or garbage revolve throughout the earth in outer space (FASAN, 1993). It is twofold categories, natural and “human-made debris”. Natural transpiring debris embrace the meteoroids, whereas the human-made debris are created by manned and unmanned space schemes of the space-actors and global firms as well. Since space debris are substantially cramped to earth orbits, it has hold a very little size as compared to interplanetary medium natural materials (Menon & Krishnan, 2008) artificial space debris are much harmful as compared to natural occurring debris as they are constantly dispersed into the orbital zones through their complete life span, causing a threat in linear fashion, while on the other hand meteoroids are short-timed and remains in the aboard of the Earth environment (Gorove, 1993).

The decomposition period of natural debris is very least as compared to the human made and it persists in the orbit greater than ninety-five times and warning ultimatum remains in linear fashion to the space navigation (Sethu & Singh, 2014).

There has never been built no any global consensus and agreement for describing debris. The query whether non-functional and non-operational satellites are deemed space debris is substantially pondered, nevertheless. The International Law Association’s International Instrument on Space Debris at its 66th conference in 1994 (Williams, 1995) was the initial global effort to proffer a legitimate description of space debris acquired consentaneously and in its 1st article of definitions, the space debris described in passage (c) such as,

“Man-made objects in the Outer Space, other than active or otherwise useful satellites, when there no change can reasonably be expected in these conditions in the foreseeable future’’ (Bockstiegel, 1995).

As outcome of the numerous-year struggles of the (STSC) of UNCOPUOS, in 1999 a Technical Report on Space Debris was promulgated it was prior United Nations documents on space debris which became foundation for furthermore considerations on the mounting issue of overcrowding in the space environment. It announces the definition presented at the STSC in its 32nd session for ordinary perception of “space debris”.

“These are all man-made objects, including their fragments and parts, whether their owners can be identified or not, into the Earth orbit or again turning back to the thick Earth’s atmosphere which are nonfunctional lacking appropriate justifiable assumption or resumption of their intentional operations or any other operations for whom they suppose or may supposed to be empowered” (Hobe & Mey, 2009).

According to charter of (IADC), the (SDMGs) established on basic precepts exist in state strategies of subscriber agencies of (IADC), and were acknowledged with harmony in 2002 (Twigg, 2004). The space debris definition having condensed form of aforementioned definition therein, subsequently acquired exactly in the United Nations SDMGs. The printing of Guidelines triggered S&TSC to develop a Working Group of the Space Debris (Davila, Gopalswamy, Haubold, & Thompson, 2007) that prepared a blueprint of extraordinary standard recommendations” following on the exertion of IADC (Taylor, 2006). In 2007 UN COPUOS, adopted draft and also supported by (GA) General Assembly subsequently passed in the Resolution 62/217 (Balogh, 2009).

The UNCOPUOS having description of space debris,

“All man-made objects including fragments and elements thereof, in Earth orbit or reentering the atmosphere, that are nonfunctional” (Brachet, 2012).

Space debris description is not embodied in any authentic instructions it is merely presented in the opening part having title “Background” of the instrument. General Assembly has proclaimed that the UN Strategies “manifest prevailing exercises prepared by a plenty of nationwide and worldwide organizations”. The legitimate standing of instructions or Guidelines are crystal clear as it asserts that these are not binding by the international law (Brachet, 2012). Furthermore, utters that “the international organizations and the member nations should adopt discretionary steps to make it sure that the Guidelines are executed voluntarily” (Brachet, 2012). It is obvious that these Guidelines display technical best implementations. These Guidelines were prepared exclusively by the S&T Subcommittee without any participation of the (LSC) Legal Subcommittee. As from the lawful angle, it is unquestionable that the UNCOPUOS’s LSC must grasp a greater role in future. Presently, though, the LSC contemplates space debris just as an only item for debate with an opinion to a broad interchange of material and opinions on legal tools regarding alleviation expedients (Munters & Wouters, 2017). It’s very obvious from the debates that a practical harmony is far-off from being grasped (Munters & Wouters, 2017).

Hence, the space debris definition enclosed in United Nations Guiding principle can be categorized as “soft law” (Gold, 1983) that whereas known to lack the required suitable content to imply administrative privileges and responsibilities (Jennings, Lowe, Fitzmaurice, Fitzmaurice, & Vaughan, 1996), which able to yielding conclusive legalistic outcomes (Guzman & Meyer, 2010). It is not only contemplated as a “pronouncement of rising ideas of global public order,” (Guzman & Meyer, 2010) but it also represents “salient parts in the ongoing organized global collaboration” (Joyner, 1997). So, the space debris definition encompassed in these Guidelines reveal comparatively optional as well as discretionary approach, which facilitate to normalize the clash priorities of space faring nations (Joyner, 1997) and to develop a minimum level of caring to the States in the arena of space debris alleviation.

What is the standing position of debris in the eye of law it has been correctly signalized by the IAA, Cosmic Study on Space Traffic Management wherein it was discussed “no lawful differentiation held between the precious active space-craft and worthless space debris’’ (Contant-Jorgenson, Lala, & Schrogl, 2006). Furthermore, commended that the UN COPUOS to initiate debate either way space debris are space objects percept in space law. and if pronounced that space debris are space objects, then there should be an additional protocol expressing in detail that which are the clauses pertain to the expensive spacecraft and which one to the invaluable space debris in the treaties. Whereas the space debris is not space objects, and which situations space debris may be detached or de-orbited for avoiding accidents or striking with spacecraft having high value (Chatterjee, 2014).

2.2. Require Prior Approval for Removal

The prevailing structure of international space law does not permit interruption with space objects without the preceding approval from the launching State. In the case of an exclusion of an object with no consent, it would establish an internationally wrongful act. Though, earlier assent acquired from the launching State, or the State of registry in the case of various launching States, would create a situation impeding the wrongfulness of behavior that would else not be in compliance with the international responsibilities of the State performing the remedial activity. The International Court of Justice has pronounced that the presence of such incident does not invalidate or sack the responsibility; relatively it offers explanation or plea for non-performance while the situation in question exists (Patel, 2014). In accordance with the Article 20 of International Law Commission’s Articles on State Responsibility echoes the straightforward international law principle of approval:

“Valid consent by a State to the commission of a given act by another State precludes the wrongfulness of that act in relation to the former State to the extent that the act remains within the limits of that consent.”

According to this principle, the permission by a State to specific manner by another State prohibits the unlawful action in relation to the agreeable State, providing the approval is binding and to such level that the behavior leftovers within the limits of the consent agreed. The Power of the assent must be judged to confirm that it is generously assumed and undoubtedly proven. It must be stated by the State truly rather than just supposed that the State would have accepted. It must not be weakened by the any impact of error, deception, dishonesty or compulsion as well (Weiss, 2002).

The entire command and switch over the object by launching State. The detachment of any space object from the space without proper willingness of registered or launching state is giant challenge, and removal of space object of unknown registry is also acute problem. So at this stage author bring the attention to the dire need of empowered international space body which would take firm decisions for removal of space debris (Jakhu & Hobe, 2010).

2.3. Who Has Authority to Identify and Decide the Removal of Debris?

Owing to absence of definition and legal status of space debris plenty of legal issues and troubles brings out. For instance, by the losing connection with the Environmental satellite, the gigantic non-Military Earth Observations Satellite in the orbit on 8th April 2012 (Medvedeva, 2015) and then after numerous untiring efforts retain the control of the satellite, on 9 May 2012 ESA had announced the winded up its mission (Chatterjee, 2014). Eventually, it was floating unbridled which was chased by the U.S. Joint Space Operations Centre. Its oversize ranges from 10 meters in length and 5 meters in width, with an even sizeable solar battery and enhanced the apprehension of its accident with the other operational space objects owing to having immense weight which is eight tons (Rycroft, 2013). It has been approximated that 150 years will be required for the natural decomposition through the ambiance tug which provided to its orbit (De Seldsng, 2010). ESA has estimated that 30 percent crashing possibility with other orbital debris in this time span (Phelan, Taplin, Henderson-Sellers, & Albrecht, 2011). That’s why it is perfect candidate for remediation from the orbit (Mejía-Kaiser, 2012).

So in such crucial situation, a question raises that, does the Envisat qualify as a piece of “space debris”? As it is wandering unrestrained and is no longer maneuverable because of losing connection, nevertheless, it is still undamaged satellite. Furthermore, if the technological development permits reinstate communications with it, same like in the International telecommunication satellite Galaxy-15 satellite case, then Environment satellite may be re-activated back to work similar like earlier a “space object”. The complication before the space-actors not only ceases at the definition of space debris, but also transfuse to its identification. In the situation of specific minute particle debris is not defined as a “space object”; then it halts heed by the Liability Convention. For example, an object which stopped working can’t be identified even by the launching State “soon after functional” (Cheng, 1991) only for the reason that it’s no more space object now. Such kind of inadequacy in Liability Convention changed loopholes for several entities which supposed to be found responsible in different way (von der Dunk, 2001). Suppose that, a chunk of debris manifests a “space object”, it mightily hard to find out its location or to detect its origin.

Thus the matter therefore is dual-fold: describing the subject matter and then also its recognition. A stringent clarification of the fundamental part of the definition in treaties never looked like favorable, and the discourse has spilled towards assuming an operational approach instead, where the function of the object is used to classify the harm-inducing subject-matter (Sethu & Singh, 2014). So the functionality test might be the ultimate answer while identification and definition of space debris. The entire command and control over the object as stated in the Article VIII of OST,

“A State Party to the Treaty on whose registry an object launched into outer space is carried shall retain jurisdiction and control over such object, and over any personnel thereof, while in outer space or on a celestial body’’ (Darwin, 1967).

This is obvious that, only with the assent of launching State of registry, objects can only detach, which are earlier or develop to be non-operative and non-maneuverable space objects which create grave menace of harm to other operating by crash striking or furtherance of space objects into orbit (Schwartz, 2010). Nevertheless, it has been remains vague question that who can identify (and by which way) the worth and utilization of the space subject maneuvered in space supposed appropriate prey for remediation purpose. The Article 4(2) of Registration Convention is very special as it inspires the States to dispense details knowledge in a situation when is not capable to authorized a State Party for identification of space object which created injury to it or might be harmful if strike (Lyall, 2016). It is mandatory for every states of registry to provide inter alia detailed facts and figures to the SG of (UN) from the platform of UNOOSA which is directly linked to any space object during its registration (Christol, 1982). So that the UN Secretary General might actively detect unrestrained and functionless may be its residues and then hand over to the original owner States registry for gaining approval for removal (Christol, 1982). The detachment of any space object from the space without proper willingness of registered or launching state is giant challenge, and removal of space object of unknown registry is also acute problem that in international space law regime neither meaning of space debris or any proper procedure available for its removal.

Actually the five prevailing space law treaties harp on the different string connected to meaning of space debris, core issue is the lack of any systematic organizational reinforcement for execution and imposition of the five space law treaties. The space law treaties are aging and embodying numerous detriments prevailing in it, so aforementioned the provisions of the prevailing United Nations space treaties, as prerequisite must be elucidated and applied in the most useful way for attaining fruitful outcomes. Perhaps the very suitable panacea for space debris definition challenge would be new one treaty which could exhaustively discourses the crucial problem of identification as well as definition of debris. Nevertheless, it is hard nut to crack owning for different rationale, this is a very difficult approach. So at this stage author bring the attention to the dire need of empowered international space regime/authority which would take firm decisions for removal of space debris (Christol, 1982) finally and also ensure the recognition and identification of space debris exactly and honestly.

2.4. Why Any Other Should Does Salvage Operation of Someone Else?

It is clearly mentioned in article (ix) of OST to refrain from injurious pollution and inauspicious fluctuations into the atmosphere of Earth while during research and inspection of outer space comprising Moon and extra heavenly bodies (Dembling & Arons, 1967) and it seems logical that why anyone else to clean the debris of someone else. Because it’s their own obligation to keep the space clean. The question is not trivial. While States struggle to remove “their own” space debris, it is legitimate to enquire why States would want to remove the mess of someone else or even secure a right to do so. Where the objective is to remove mass from Earth orbit in general or to reduce the mass concentration in a given orbital region for enduring maintainability, the question of who brought the object up there in the first place does not present itself. Whether a State chooses to remove “its” debris or debris of other origin is irrelevant because a State who got register an object for launching into space shall hold command and control over it staffs, though in outer space or on an astronomic figure (Dembling & Arons, 1967)Which is also seconded by the Article 12, paragraph 1 of the Moon Treaty: speaks,

“States Parties shall retain jurisdiction and control over their personnel, vehicles, equipment, facilities, stations and installations on the Moon’’ (Doyle, 1998).

And such kind of command and control is called quasi-territorial jurisdiction (Lyall, 2016).

So the consent of launching state is necessary legally while taking decision of removing any object. There are legal grounds for invoking a right to remove space debris in good faith. If relied upon with caution, State practice may shape international consensus. Given the obligation to remove space debris, to consent or to acquiesce to the removal, or at least to consider it in a transparent procedure that promotes sustainable development, it seems unlikely that an equitable solution between a State of Registry and a state that plans to engage in remediation cannot be found.

States may also involve in self-support in a state need (Crawford, 2002), (Fitzmaurice, 2009) could be appealed to validate precautions pointing toclear-out the atmosphere of superficial space if circumstances for such like reasoning are specified (Jakhu & Pelton, 2017) e.g. for safety and keeping in view the essential interest of international community as a whole not for any individual nation have been acknowledged by (ILC) as a matter of inevitability. In the “Gabčíkovo-Nagymaros Project Case” (Bekker, 1998) ICJ have perceived that self-support in such condition of need for instance a reason for preventing illegal and unfairness can only be admitted only under the sternly well-defined extraordinary circumstances.

Such circumstances might, in the perspective of similar benefits globally, Consequently, the augmentation in activities almost encourage the happening of coincidences in outer space, the theory of inevitability might attain significance in the forthcoming and perform a part for the instituting legal rules for SDR. Apprehension of terrible collision or hitting with functional object in outer space may indicate exclusively unlike time frame as in the tanker catastrophe on the high seas. States may also employ in self-support where another State is in disobeying of key duties. Under the state responsibility rules, such a global erroneous may give rise to lesser responsibilities of a State of Registry and unwraps the avenues for encounter for safety and protection (Hafner, 2002). In analogy, the right to remove space debris in good faith may be acknowledged as a sensible compromise and break with long-standing dogmata in order to effectively address space debris as an issue of global concern. And if something wrong happened while removing the object bona-fide then who will compensate the damages? Key components may be a unequivocal and rational selection matrix on that base objects are accurate candidate for removal as well as objective criteria for determining whether objects are non-functional, whether objects are, for instance, without “justifiable authentication of capability to presuppose or resuming the intentional roles or any other roles on that behalf they either may be approved” (Mey, 2012). A negative list may ensure that the legal rights of the State of Registry are not prejudiced, banning inter alia removal procedures that could divulge sensitive information instead of letting objects disintegrate upon atmospheric re-entry.

There is no any legal procedure and mechanism available in existing space law regime to remove the space debris. Who has authority to decide to initiate the procedure of removing the piece of space debris from the outer space? that’s why this article suggests the modified establishment of international space law regime which would solve the issue of identification of debris as well its procedure of removing, No doubt, its prime duty of launching states to remove their self-created garbage and even though if they are reluctant while doing as so then it is proposed firmly an empowered international space law regime to come forward and undertake remediation as well as alleviation of debris and encounter the situation accordingly.

2.5. What Are the Protection on Damages If Wrongful Removal and Damages to the Third Party, to the Ground, and on Sea Plane?

No doubt, Space debris has turn into certified foe of mankind. The 1972 Liability Convention has not planned borders of recompense for loss instigated by space debris. Owing to The eventful space activities of space actors, space debris is progressively growing in quantity and has brought serious potential fears to outer space atmosphere and human activities into the space. We must alleviate and eradicate space debris in the (LEO) and in the (GEO), through global collaboration and pact in the arenas of space. The 1972 Liability Convention (Burke, 1984) carriages several queries about the SDR tasks. Firstly, only states can be believed responsible for compensations triggered by space objects (Art. VII OST). Hence, the Legal responsibility is dual: the damages happened in no-fly-zone or on the Earth surface, on the base of out-and-out liability states have to recompense cited in the Art. II of Liability Convention. Consequently, no fault must be verified.

That’s why it’s very imperative to provide all situations and circumstances about the harm to the property, natural life or healthiness grieved by space object of maneuvering state to that troubled peoples or damaged states. So obviously the allegation or attribution deemed to the launching state. The burden of proof harms in outer space is fault-based actually as stated in the Art. III Liability Convention. Consequently, allegation would be on the fault of the launching state. So there is dire need of a specific legal requirement for precaution must be established. it intends that if any private body carry out debris removal task and destruction is created to the space object of a third party then the charge is endorsed on the commencement of maneuvering state of the detached object and not to third party piloting the maneuver,

While the Art. I lit. (c) of the LC states,

a‚ launching State’ is defined as the State which launches or acquires the launching of a space object, or a State from whose region or capability an object is launched.

It is debatable whether the criteria for fault liability ought to be the identical as for piloting debris removal process. Briefing, the SDMGs and supplementary connected instruments for the shelter of the outer space environs from space debris embody environmentally related mechanical precautions for forthcoming tasks, are not obligatory lawfully, there would be no any liability on the contravention and non-compliance for making or for not eliminating space debris of by the international law Therefore, they may serve as a basis for the advancement towards the evolution of updated legal framework regarding space debris remediation.

3. Recommendations

1) Meanwhile, the first trivial footstep at the outer space, the world has transformed significantly, hence the Space treaty system should be modified accordingly. The notable discussion rotates around the definition & identification of term “space debris” Universal consent must be made for main overhauling of the prevailing legal instruments for the sake of defining the space debris similar to the 1994 ILA Draft therein (Sethu & Singh, 2014). Therefore, create international space legal regime that should influence the innovation of space research built on global support while keeping into accounts the space debris definition & identification, rules and regulation and formula of removal of space debris broadly (Listner, 2012; Andrenucci, Pergola, & Ruggiero, 2011).

2) It would be hard to prove the accident and damage by space debris via the states, enterprises, legal entities and persons which suffers. It is almost difficult to prove the cause of damage caused by debris under faulty system. So I would like to suggest to adopt an absolute and strict liability system in order to protect the interests of mankind and damaged States in the 21st century.

3) Liability Convention don’t protect the victims perfectly such as indirect damage mental damages, Heart attack, loss to business man while in article 1 of LC clearly speaks about direct damage. Thus it is proposing to amend Liability Convention keeping into accounts the above discussed legal issues.

4) Through the national provisions Mitigation or removal of space debris and states responsibility or liability on compensation for related damages follow should not only from international law will highlight query whether assumption of an over-all liability agreement that shed light on every sphere of liabilities of harms triggered by induction of space objects would be well or not (Shakouri Hassanabadi, 2014)? It might be authentic to amend and revamp the Liability convention in broader context targeting the each and every aspect under international space law where the actual connection to the launching appears very distant (von der Dunk, 1991). Countries would be firmly accountable for all damages, take place in orbit or on the ground by the space debris. in fact, this was wished-for at the time of drafting of Liability Convention, nonetheless that was rejected universally. This notion became un-popular because it gave the impression diplomatically dreadful. Debate on such a solution has lessened in the last decade. Owing to aggravation of this issue, now is the time to re-examine this indeed tough choice. So modify the liability convention at an international level by the adoption of binding agreements or non-binding provisions for the protection of parties.

5) It is envisaging that at National level legislation should be made to deal with debris, and many states have already taken steps. Unique lawful possibility to combine the SDR tools in prevailing legal structure can be at national wide legislature. These space debris mitigation drafts being incorporated in the state approval requisitions for the space operators could work as exemplary for the SDR. Only few states have recognized their dedication towards UNCOPUOS mitigation Guidelines. While the some states, have not ratified nationwide legislature yet, though have expounded national strategies or criterions for their state space agencies (Brisibe, 2016).

6) The Modification of domestic licensing rules to take account of guaranteed salvage part that would put on to satellite and pertinent launcher upper stage(s). It would be mandatory for the operator to prove plan or schemes have the competency of safe controlled going back into or transmission to the graveyard circles on the completion of task. Besides, the operator should be prerequisite to proceeds insurance policy to shelter the expenses of salvage in case of miscarriage precludes act of the scheduled removal.

7) There has been repeated clamoring for an International Space Organization that could be used as rostrum of all segments, for example, law-enactment, administration, imposition and execution of rules, conflict resolution regarding space and identification of space debris, and providing the expenses for the removal of space debris, either identified or unidentified, by establishing a global fund. Clearly, there is a dire need for an international space authority to maintain space in the greater interest of humankind.

4. Conclusion

It would be miserable to wait for a catastrophic incident and then remain unsuccessful to counter this grave concern in a meaningful and practical manner. Space debris has become the burning issue world widely. It is factual that the outdated space law regime is main barrier to the mitigation and remediation process it is proposed to suggest that all above mentioned legal issues can be resolved through new regulations and modified international space law regime through global harmony and collaboration and drafting international new agreements. It is crystal clear that all countries in the world have benefit interests from the exploration and use outer space. Global and national collaboration could solve the issue of space debris removal as well as harm initiated by space debris, specially to modify few articles of the 1972 Liability Convention for the sake of protection of sufferers in the circumstance of the damage for compensations caused by the space accidents indirectly on the ground and air.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


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