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The Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs co-initiated the development of an international compendium of space debris mitigation standards

 

The representatives of the International Law Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic presented together with Canadian and German colleagues the first international compendium of space debris mitigation standards in the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). The compendium received editorial support of the European Space Agency (ESA) and the United Nations will publish it on its website and administer it as an on-line database accessible to the entire international space community.

The Czech Republic, Canada and Germany developed for the Legal Subcommittee of the COPUOS the first international compendium of space debris mitigation standards adopted by States and international organizations. Comprehensive overview of the existing rules provides a basis for further national or international initiatives in this field and a reference for legislators.

The compendium was very well received and gained the support of all COPUOS Member States. It was approved at the COPUOS plenary session held in Vienna from 11th to 20th June 2014.

Space debris is formed by defunct objects, like for example satellites, and thousands of their fragments and other waste that travel in the orbit around the Earth. Due to its volume and density the debris endangers active satellites, spacecrafts and astronauts. Proliferation of orbital debris constitutes one of the main risks to the security of human activities in outer space. Today there is a growing awareness that implementation of space debris mitigation measures for space activities is an indispensable condition for preserving the usability of outer space.

The Czech Republic actively participates in outer space affairs notably in the United Nations, European Space Agency and the European Union. The administrative centre of the Galileo navigation system (GSA) is based in Prague.

Participation in space projects under ESA programmes directly benefits the competitiveness of Czech industry, promotes excellence in science and research, and contributes to the growth of national economy.

Links:

Space Debris Compendium
http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/pdf/limited/l/AC105_2014_CRP13E.pdf

For more information about the agenda of COPUOS see
http://www.oosa.unvienna.org/oosa/en/COPUOS/lsc/2014/docs.html

Information about Czech space policy is available at http://www.czechspaceportal.cz/

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