Developing effective space traffic management to promote sustainable uses of outer space

Matthew Stubbs, Melissa de Zwart

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In 2019, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) adopted a definition of space sustainability:
the ability to maintain the conduct of space activities indefinitely into the future in a manner that realizes the objectives of equitable access to the benefits of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, in order to meet the needs of the present generations while preserving the outer space environment for future generations.
One of the key threats to the long-term sustainability of outer space comes from the risk of collisions affecting space objects,2 whether with active satellites or debris, and consequent increases in the amount of long-lived debris in outer space (which in turn further increases the risk of collisions, potentially exponentially).3 This challenge is particularly exacerbated in the context of New Space – the rapidly increasing commercial use of outer space.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProject Asteria 2019
Subtitle of host publicationSpace debris, space traffic management and space sustainability
EditorsMichael Spencer
Place of PublicationCanberra
PublisherAir Power Development Centre
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)978192506380
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • satellites
  • outer space
  • sustainability
  • space traffic management
  • STM
  • space activities


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