Space Debris: From the Womb to the Tomb

Avanti Deval* & Pallavi Kolarkar**

Published on March 17, 2022 | Manuscript Number: 2022/LWLR/17087 | Page Numbers: 87-101

Abstract: Issues of space debris are not only harmful to the earth and outer space but also have other far-reaching results. In spite of the large perpetration rate, it bears in outer space, the issue has not yet been successfully elucidated due to grey areas in the existing inadequate legal framework. These inadequacies thus prove to be detrimental to the overall functioning of objects in space. There is no denying that there exists a scarce legal framework with regard to the reduction in new space debris. Ambiguity regarding the accurate interpretation of certain terms thereby creating a legal lacuna for assigning liability has been noted and endeavored to remedy in the present study. Also, the thorough compliance with certain laws being merely a theoretical possibility due to the paucity of adequate sanctions has also been carefully studied.
This paper aims to broach this inveterate subject and analyze the laws which encompass crucial aspects of mitigation, liability, detection, and applicability of solutions. Further, it seeks to propose suggestions like that of reasonable relaxation with regard to the requirement of consent of the launching state for the removal of space debris. Imperative and specific solutions like compulsory launching fees and ‘implied ownership’ are explained and suggested. Preventive and compensatory measures are elucidated inter alia. This paper adopts the doctrinal method of study to critically analyze, comment on, and magnify the legal aspects that need further consideration and analyses the efficacy of the existing space laws. This essay concludes by recommending in detail the future strategy to remedy the issue of space debris.

Keywords: Space Debris, Remedial strategy, Space Laws, Mitigation, Liability.

*Symbiosis Law School, Pune

**Indian Law Society’s ILS Law College, Pune

Cite as: Avanti Deval & Pallavi Kolarkar, Space Debris: From the Womb to the Tomb (2022) 1(3) LKO. L. REV. 87