How to explore further the geostationary orbit: Current status from the international legal perspective

Two years before Gagarin’s flight into outer space, in 1959, the GA set up the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) that was tasked, among other matters, with studying legal problems arising from the exploration of outer space. One of such tasks was to work out ways and means to ensure the use of the geostationary orbit, which is an integral part of the issue of the definition and delimitation of outer space and utilization of the geostationary orbit (GSO). There are different state approaches on this issue, including Columbia’s submission to the Legal Subcommittee of COPUOS of a working paper entitled “Some considerations concerning the utilization of the geostationary orbit”, 1996. The outcome of all efforts was that it could not be proven possible for the Legal Subcommittee to endorse certain papers. In spite of this, the Legal Subcommittee must find a way to reach an agreement among states on this important question, namely, find a way and means to ensure the rational and equitable use of the geostationary orbit. This task is aggravated by taking into account existing rules adopted within the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), including Art. 44, para. 196.2 of its Constitution, as amended in 1998. The principle of “first came, first served” is only a clear orientation by which States can govern their further actions on this issue. The article is published in the framework of the grant of the Russian Foundation for Basic Research “BRICS and the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space” 17-03-00427. © 2021, Univelt Inc. All rights reserved.

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Univelt Inc.
  • 1 International Law Department of RUDN University, 117198, 6, Miklukho-Maklaya Str., Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Space applications; Space flight; Space platforms; Space research; Current status; Geo-stationary orbits; Integral part; International telecommunication unions; Legal problems; Outer space; Peaceful use; Working papers; Laws and legislation
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