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Operating in space: towards developing protocols (WP1680)

The world is ever more reliant on space assets for its prosperity and security and nations need the data and knowledge that flows from space, an environment that is increasingly contested and congested.

Much of the multilateral discussion presently focuses on disarmament or utilising space for development and peaceful purposes. This conference will consider the grey areas between the two where the actions of spacefaring nations and their companies can build trust or generate hostility.  The conference will therefore explore whether norms of behaviour would keep space safe for the future.

These norms could be expressed as protocols. In discussions with national experts, the conference will look at possible language in four areas: launch, in-orbit / proximity operations, conjunction and debris. We will consider questions such as:

  • Could nations be encouraged to share information more easily and inform others of problems?
  • Could sovereign and commercial operators work together more effectively?
  • Can data be shared to build a better picture of activity in space?
  • What should be the priority issues on which to focus?

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