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What do we put in space?

Space technologies are being put up by a host of government and non-government actors now jockeying for space in space. In the 21st century, space has become an increasingly democratized environment. More countries, non-state actors, international organizations, and corporations are harnessing space capabilities and employing them in a myriad of ways. Civilian government organizations, such as NASA and NOAA, use satellites to keep track of changing climates, monitor natural disasters, and take images of far-away galaxies. Military uses of satellites include reconnaissance, navigation, and communications. Commercial industry deploys satellites to provide a variety of services, including satellite television and navigation, and are using innovative space technologies to provide internet and cell phone coverage across the globe. As if that wasn’t enough, innovations in satellite designs have allowed for smaller satellites to be put into orbit at lower cost, making space more accessible to a larger number of satellite operators.

The International Space Station

The Global Legal Landscape of Space: Who Writes the Rules on the Final Frontier?

We no longer need a telescope to see the critical importance of space. But while much attention has been paid to the geostrategic and economic significance of space, perhaps the most foundational area has been largely left on the backburner: space governance. The current global space governance framework has been slow to take evolving state and industry practices as well as technological changes into consideration, namely around issues of celestial resource use and space militarization.

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