Do we really want a nationalistic future in space? - Phys.Org - Fri 11 Jan 17:54 GMT

Do we really want a nationalistic future in space? - Phys.Org

The annals of science fiction are full of visions of the future. Some are techno-utopian like "Star Trek" in which humanity has joined together in peace to explore the cosmos. Others are dystopian, like the World State in "Brave New World." But many of these …

  This states, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, outer space shall not be considered a global commons."

  This trend, especially among the space powers, is important since it not only will create precedents that could resonate for decades to come, but also because it hinders our ability to address common challenges – like removing the debris orbiting the planet.

  Without concerted action, Marshall Kaplan, an orbital debris expert within the Space Policy Department at Johns Hopkins University, argues, "There is a good chance that we may have to eventually abandon all active satellites in currently used orbits" due to the growing problem of space junk.

  Space law expert Robert Bird, has argued that nations treat orbital space as a kind of communal pasture that may be over-exploited and polluted through debris.

  By finding common ground, including the importance of sustainable development, we earthlings can ensure that humanity's development of space is less a race than a peaceful march – not a flags and footprints mission for one nation, but a destination serving the development of science, the economy and the betterment of international relations.