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|Origin:||Proc. 29th Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, IISL, pp. 161-170; also at www.spacefuture.com/archive/ towards_traffic_control_systems_for_near_earth_space.shtml|
As human activities in space expand in coming years, the density of near-earth traffic may reach a level at which there will become a significant hazard from collisions between operational spacecraft. Before this occurs there will be a need for international agreements aimed at reducing the chances of collisions between spacecraft. Two particular scenarios are considered under which the density of orbital traffic could increase very substantially beyond present levels within this century, namely the development of satellite power stations (SPS), and the development of orbital tourist facilities. The paper considers the possibilities for the introduction of certain traffic systems for near-earth space, both from a theoretical and from an institutional point of view, and proposes some simple means of reducing the collision hazard in relation to the SPS and Space Tourism scenarios.
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