An international code of conduct – will nations comply in cleaning up space?

NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office provides images of 'junk' hovering over Earth (photo: NASA)
NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office provides images of 'junk' hovering over Earth (photo: NASA)

No single country owns space - but with 60 nations operating more than 1,000 satellites it is becoming increasingly congested. These hazards include the millions of pieces of space ‘junk’ which threaten military and civilian satellites and the worldwide services on which nations now rely. But now, issues which include congestion, weapons in space, and defence are being addressed by an International Code of Conduct for Outer Space Activities which aims to increase the long-term sustainability and security of space.

THE US Defence Department tracks around 22,000 objects orbiting Earth. Some 1,100 are active satellites made up of television and mobile phone communications satellites, mil...

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