The Global Space Law Center has not always seen eye-to-eye with positions taken by the Outer Space Institute, but we stand shoulder-to-shoulder when it comes to the need to ban kinetic ASAT tests. The GSLC has therefore added its signature to OSI’s Open Letter on Kinetic ASAT Tests calling for a binding international agreement prohibiting such tests and applaud OSI for launching this critical initiative.
The GSLC would also like to make the following statement regarding kinetic ASAT tests:
The intentional and reckless creation of massive clouds of space debris at high orbits where the debris will remain for hundreds of years is a clear violation of the black letter law and spirit of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty’s requirement that all space activities are to be conducted “with due regard to the corresponding interests of all other States Parties to the Treaty.” Intentionally creating a significant threat to the space objects of other states cannot be characterized as acting with “due regard.” Unfortunately, whether such ASAT tests violate the “due regard” obligation has been cast into doubt due to state practice (in both carrying out such tests and failing to condemn such tests as illegal). An explicit ban on kinetic tests may be needed to salvage the law, but states can also reverse this trend and restore the intended meaning of the OST by refraining from kinetic ASAT tests and openly condemning them as illegal acts. The GSLC encourages all parties to the OST to do so.
The Global Space Law Center
The sky is no longer the limit…