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Consequences of the Ever Growing Importance of Earth Observation: Sustainable Use of Outer Space—Small Satellites and Mega Constellations

  • Anita RinnerEmail author
Conference paper

Abstract

Outer space—a legal vacuum? Talking to many people and even professional lawyers, some of them are not aware of the fact that outer space has become an area of legal interest since the first artificial satellite Sputnik-1 was sent into orbit in 1957. Since then, mankind has gained physically access to space in order to explore and use outer space for various purposes. The previous symposium was based on trends and challenges of satellite based Earth observation for economics and society. Consequently, the author wants to draw attention to space based networks, systems particularly to small satellites and mega constellations and the need for (international, supranational and national) regulations. The question of why we need regulatory issues in outer space can be easily answered: because we go to space (For further details see also Soucek A. Reasons for space activities: some thoughts. In: Brünner Ch, Soucek A, editors. Outer Space in Society, Politics and Law. Springer, 2011. p. 15ff). Only a very few people, mainly astronauts or future space tourists, have the chance to personally travel to space but in fact nearly every one of us (at least in industrialised countries) uses outer space facilities. The symposium has shown that the scope of outer space applications ranges from navigation (e.g. car navigation devices or autonomous vehicles, supervision of employment relationships), to telecommunication (e.g. direct broadcasting facilities), through to Earth observation (e.g. natural hazards, global climate change monitoring, forest monitoring, agricultural remote sensing, public administration).

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rechtsanwaltsanwärterin, Muhri und Werschitz Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten GmbHGrazAustria
  2. 2.Lehrbeauftragte für Raumfahrtrecht und Raumfahrtpolitik, Karl-Franzens-UniversitätGrazAustria

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