Orbital uncertainty and the governance of outer space activities

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Abstract

Satellites and their associated ground-based infrastructure provide increasingly detailed data concerning life on Earth. Yet, information about actor capabilities, operations, and intentions in orbit is limited. As our use of space rapidly expands in and beyond the Earth's orbit, opacity represents a growing challenge to effective space governance. This chapter takes up the volume's concerns with the nature and implications of uncertainty in global politics in three steps. First, it identifies the principal sources of orbital uncertainty which stem from the physical properties of outer space; the diversity of actors and activities; and the technical, political, and human limitations on information transparency. Second, it considers the implications of orbital uncertainty for the governance of space activities and global politics more broadly. Finally, the chapter identifies means of enhancing transparency in space involving improved data collection and dissemination, multistakeholder dialogue, international and domestic regulation, and market mechanisms.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUncertainty in global politics
EditorsMiriam Matejova, Anastasia Shesteerinina
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Chapter11
Pages191-211
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003426080
ISBN (Print)9781032546704, 9781032546711
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameNew international relations

Keywords

  • Outer space
  • Global governance
  • Uncertainty
  • Security

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