Space Debris and its Impact on the Environment
Asst. Professor, M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bengaluru
Subi Priya. L
B.A. LL.B. (Hons.), M.S. Ramaiah College of Law, Bengaluru
The year 1957 is historically important; it is with the phenomenal launch of the first artificial satellite of Earth Sputnik 1. On October 4, by the Soviet Union that embarked mankind on a never ending journey into the outer space. For the past 60 years, this ambitious journey of space faring nations in the exploration of the outer space has tremendously increased. With new entrants into this field every year, there has been a vehement upsurge in the outer space activities. The latest estimates states that a total of about 7511 satellites launched till date has resulted in an orbit space debris population of nearly 29,000 traceable objects with sizes more than 10 cm. With this number going up, the current debris in space has become a major peril to the operational satellites and to the environment. This article explores the concept of mitigation of space debris in the light of the emerging issues related to space activities and its impact on the environment. The history of the growing menace of space debris and its impact on the environment is also highlighted. This article also examines various international commitments towards mitigation of space debris.