Global Space Governance and Planetary Defense Mechanisms

  • Joseph N. PeltonEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


The breadth and depth of human understanding of cosmic hazards has rapidly expanded in the last few decades. Humans have grasped the idea that they are indeed traveling on a six sextillion metric ton “natural spacecraft” that orbits the sun once a year, and that our small planet now sustains 7.5 billion people. Indeed, planet Earth may be forced to support a global population as many as 12 billion people by the end of the twenty-first century. This population is going to be more and more concentrated in urban centers and dependent on modern infrastructure. This all means that the risks due to cosmic hazards are increasing. This chapter focuses on improved governance systems and capabilities through processes in the United Nations, non-governmental organizations, and national and regional private mechanisms. This is mainly to facilitate planetary efforts in the context of asteroid and comet defense. These various planetary efforts can be new standards, new warning mechanisms, improved methods to share information more widely concerning cosmic hazards and ultimately perhaps globally sanctioned mechanisms to undertake either planetary defense or newly coordinated methods to respond to cosmic hazards in the aftermath of an asteroid or comet strike. In the longer term, there are further concerns such as solar flares, coronal mass ejections, shifts in the Earth’s magnetic poles, and even global climate change and orbital space debris. These outer space-related hazards are legitimate areas of concern and will likely, over time, become additional key aspects of planetary defense considerations


Potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) Coronal mass ejections GeoMagnetosphere UN COPUOS COPUOS Working Group on the Long Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities (LTSOSA) SMPAG IAWN 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS)ArlingtonUSA

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