Mir on 12 June 1998 as seen
              from the departing Space Shuttle Discovery during STS-91
 
Space Debris Treaty
Trattato del Detrito Spaziale
Пакт о космическом мусоре
 
 

There are two kinds of space debris (also known as orbital debris, space junk, and space waste): natural and artificial.

Natural space debris consists of small pieces of cometary and asteroidal material called meteoroids.

Artificial space debris is any non-functional manmade object in space, usually orbiting the Earth.

The first piece of artificial space debris was created at the start of the space age, on 4 October 1957, when the last stage of the rocket that launched
Sputnik-1, remained in orbit.

Since then, 6000 satellites have been launched, on 4600 rockets, and 70% of the debris in orbit remains in low earth orbit, up to 2000 kilometres above the planet's surface.

The skies above Earth are now teeming with manmade objects both large and small.

Debris plot by NASA

Space debris populations seen from outside geosynchronous orbit (GEO).

The US Space Surveillance Network uses a radar to track more than 13000 such items that are larger than four inches (ten centimetres). The celestial stuff includes everything from the International Space Station (ISS) and the Hubble Space Telescope, to defunct satellites, rocket stages, or nuts and bolts left behind by astronauts/cosmonauts/taikonauts. And there are millions of smaller, harder to track objects such as flecks of paint, and bits of plastic.

According to the Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects, also known as the Space Liability Convention, states (countries) bear international responsibility for all space objects that are launched within their territory, or by their authority. If two states work together to launch a space object, on the other hand, then both of those states are jointly and severally liable for the damage that object causes. This means that an injured party can sue either of the two states for the full amount of damage.

The Space Liability Convention also states that claims are between states only, i.e. claims must be brought by the state against a state. Whereas under most national legal systems an individual or a corporation may bring a lawsuit against another individual or another corporation, under the Space Liability Convention claims must be brought on the state level only. This means that if an individual is injured by a space object, and wishes to seek compensation under the Space Liability Convention, the individual must arrange for his or her country to make a claim against the country that launched the space object that caused the damage.

While there are several agencies that are monitoring the space debris in some way, and it is clear in international law, under the Space Liability Convention, who is responsible, there is currently no agency involved in the active removal of existing non-functional space debris from orbit. So basically all the non-functional manmade objects are treated like jetsam, while they are, in reality, flotsam, and the responsibility for every object of orbital debris clearly rests on the states.

This situation is totally unacceptible. Not only is the space debris a threat to both unmanned and manned spacecraft, it is also a potential hazard to people and living creatures on Earth, and besides that, an additional form of pollution.

We, the (largely) unrecognised nations and micronations of the world, claim the unclaimed body of all the non-functional and manmade space debris. None of the arrogant states of the UN, or the UN itself, is taking full responsibility for what is, in fact, their garbage, so we shall claim all this garbage.

I the Underwritten, and Governor of the United Micronations Multi-Oceanic Archipelago (UMMOA), invite all landless, sealess, and airspaceless leaders of nations to claim their piece of the Earth's orbital debris, and to add their signature to the Space Debris Treaty (SDT), whose two sole treaty articles shall state that

  1. the SDT does recognise and establish eschatological sovereignty claims ('end of time' claims); and
  2. all new claims shall be asserted while the SDT is in force, for as long as all the non-functional orbital debris remains without active claimants (debris 'potentates').
All leaders shall publicise this claim to the best of their abilities, and this website shall make the claim public.

All nations without land, or sea, or airspace, or without full control of any land, sea, or airspace, are invited to be signatories to this treaty, so long they are serious nations, have a decent website, and lawfully represent seven or more real, unrelated human beings, who feel unrepresented or underrepresented by UN member states. By the way, leaders of UN member states may also sign this treaty, seriously claim part of the total orbital space debris, and publish/publicise this endeavour as they see it fit. We welcome all men and women of good will.

As soon as we have enough signatories, we shall send the signatures and claims to the United Nations.

SIGNATORIES


REFERENCES



Cyberterra
                  Treaty