Michael Migaud, a second-year Master of Public Service and Administration student and a graduate assistant researcher for the Institute for Science, Technology, and Public Policy, recently published a paper on space debris governance in the journal Space Policy. Migaud’s paper is titled “Protecting Earth’s Orbital Environment: Policy Tools for Combating Space Debris.”
Migaud begins by discussing the space debris situation in Earth’s orbital environment. He then maps existing federal orbital debris regulations based on their ability to prevent debris generation, mitigate the effects of congested orbits, and defend against space waste through active debris removal and recovery technology. He also discusses international agreements, treaties, and conventions and their implications for space debris governance.
After mapping existing orbital debris policies, Migaud finds current regulations are heavily focused on prevention and mitigation efforts. Migaud recommends increased regulatory coordination and horizontal integration of space debris governance among the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and other agencies responsible for managing and regulating space operations. He also suggests the need for an international convention for formalizing policy on orbital debris to address political, economic, and military concerns related to space situational awareness, active debris removal, and on-orbit servicing.
Migaud, Michael R. 2020. “Protecting Earth’s Orbital Environment: Policy Tools for Combating Space Debris.” Space Policy. Forthcoming. DOI: 10.1016/j.spacepol.2020.101361