4
$\begingroup$

Coming from the Internet world, we have ICANN and IANA, a "traffic manager" which makes sure that the internet doesn't break by accident, by allocating resources (like IP ranges and top-level-domains (.com, .org, etc.)) to certain other organisations. IANA and ICANN don't really (last time i checked) hold an explicit legal position on owning IP ranges / TLDs, they just exist as an authority strictly because there's such a strong need for a coordinating body, and so everyone agrees to follow their rules.

Reading up on the proposed axiom station, seeing increasing LEO usage from companies alike to starlink, and seeing Russia wanting to have their own space station again, what is the equivalent of an international regulatory / authoritative body on approving these orbit slots?

And if no such body really exists, what is a body that coordinates and keeps track of orbits between space agencies?

For clarification, I'm asking for the kind of body that space agencies like NASA, ESA, ISRO, and ROSCOSMOS would go to for informational resources, or to register their orbits, or to request them, instead of coordinating them amongst themselves.

$\endgroup$
3
$\begingroup$

Currently, nobody is launching a satellite without using radio emissions (one-way or two-way) with Earth stations. Therefore the ITU-R, which is the international body that regulates the use of frequencies, also does it for the orbits, for the purpose of avoiding mutual interferences, taking jointly the use of these two resources (frequency and orbit) into consideration.

Your question becomes relevant when these satellites cease to operate (=no longer emit nor receive) but still occupy space for an extended time. The problem is becoming more concerning at LEO altitudes than higher ones because of the potential collisions and break-ups and, AFAIK, currently "space faring" countries have their own national rules and regulations. But, I believe that each and all of them are following, more or less, the (non-binding) guidance from the UNOOSA of the United Nations.

This situation may not be sustainable in the near-future, and hopefully countries will come to an agreement and delegate more rule-making power to UNOOSA or any other agency of the UN.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I can't make a one character change. I suspect you meant "break-ups" rather than "beak-ups". "Beak-ups" brings to mind Big Bird in space. $\endgroup$ Oct 29 '21 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ The UNOOSA seems an interesting one to follow, then. Thanks $\endgroup$ Oct 30 '21 at 12:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.