The Outer Space Institute The University of British Columbia
International Open Letter on Space Mining
The Outer Space Institute is pleased to publish the International Open Letter on Space Mining, which stresses the need for a multilateral agreement on the exploration, exploitation, and utilization of space resources and calls on states to present a resolution at the UN General Assembly that urges the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space to negotiate a draft of such an agreement.
Honourable François-Philippe Champagne Minister of Foreign Affairs Global Affairs Canada 125 Sussex Drive Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2
cc. Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources
20 April 2020
Dear Minister Champagne,
Re: US Executive Order on Recovery and Use of Space Resources
On 6 April 2020, the President of the United States signed an Executive Order on Encouraging International Support for the Recovery and Use of Space Resources (“Executive Order”).
In a challenge to the United States’ position that extraterrestrial resources can be legally extracted and utilized under existing law, TheOuter Space Institute (OSI) is urging the United Nations to quickly begin work on an international agreement to govern these activities.
“It is our opinion that the speed and scale of developments relating to the exploration, exploitation and utilization of space resources require more affirmative and urgent action,” OSI said in an open letter to UN General Assembly President Tijjani Muhammad-Bande sent earlier this month.
LONDON (UK Government PR) — A global discussion to avoid conflict in space has been launched today, under a new initiative driven by the UK.
The UK’s proposed UN resolution aims to broker an international consensus on responsible behaviour in space – agreed by countries around the world at the UN – and is the only initiative of its kind in the world.
The global economy and systems that we use every day – including mobile phones, online banking and GPS – depend on safe and secure space systems. However, as space becomes increasingly congested and competed over, the risk of accidents, misunderstandings and miscalculations between nations is escalating.
UK academics will work on space solutions for world issues from tackling human trafficking and forced labour groups to eliminating malaria by detecting breeding locations of mosquitoes
Funding forms part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) which supports cutting-edge research to meet challenges faced by developing countries
Government backs new pioneering space projects that will apply UK expertise to tackling development problems across the globe.
SWINDON, UK (UKSA PR) — Today, on World Humanitarian Day, the UK Space Agency has announced £3.4 million of new funding for 10 leading-edge projects that back UK academics using space to tackle global development problems – from the spread of malaria to human trafficking and forced labour.
For years, Iran has claimed its space program is purely peaceful and civilian. The Trump Administration has never believed this fiction. This week’s launch of a military satellite by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization, makes clear what we have said all along: Iran’s space program is neither peaceful nor entirely civilian.
Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr. Brian May of the rock group QUEEN; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Filmmaker Grig Richters; and B612 President Danica Remy, to promote awareness and provide knowledge to the general public about the importance of asteroids in our solar system history, and the role they play in our solar system today. Events are scheduled leading up to 30 June, the date of the largest asteroid impact of Earth in recorded history (Tunguska).
Senate and House committees held hearings on consecutive days last week about space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM), i.e., the ability to accurately track objects in Earth orbit and to avoid dangerous collisions that could knock out satellites and even render entire orbits unusable.
The overall conclusion was that, although progress is being made, we’re not nearly as aware as we need to be as orbital debris poses an ever bigger problem and companies prepare to launch tens of thousands of new satellites.
“Near Earth space is geo-politically contested, it’s commercially contested and it’s in dire need of environmental protection because it is a finite resource,” said Moriba Jah, an associate professor of astronautics at the University of Texas.
Continuing our look at the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 Report to Congress, we examine how China is seeking to shape the governance of space activities. [Full Report]
by Douglas Messier Managing Editor
China’s actions in asserting sovereignty over the disputed South China Sea could serve as a model by which that nation would claim extraterrestrial resources and consolidate its control over key space assets, a new report to the U.S. Congress warned.
“Contrary to international norms governing the exploration and commercial exploitation of space, statements from senior Chinese officials signal Beijing’s belief in its right to claim use of space-based resources in the absence of a clear legal framework specifically regulating mining in space,” according to the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s 2019 report.
LUXEMBOURG (Luxembourg Space Agency PR) — Today, at the margins of the New Space Europe Conference, Ms. Paulette Lenert, Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs and Ms. Simonetta di Pippo, Director of United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) signed a funding agreement to support UNOOSA’s new “Space Law for New Space Actors” project.
The “Space Law for New Space Actors” project will offer UN Member States tailored capacity building to facilitate their drafting of national space legislation and/or national space policies in line with international space law, promoting the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. Such capacity building will support in particular new and emerging space-faring nations to conduct space activities in a responsible and sustainable manner.
President Donald Trump tweeted today that he planned to nominate former Aerospace Corporation Chairwoman Barbara Barrett to replace Heather Wilson as U.S. Air Force secretary.
Barrett, 68, is a businesswoman , politician and former diplomat. Her business career includes serving as: the founding chairwoman of Valley Bank of Arizona; a partner in a Phoenix law firm; and as executives in two Fortune 500 companies.
In 1994, she ran unsuccessfully for governor of Arizona as a Republican. Barrett served as U.S. ambassador to Finland in 2008-09 under President George W. Bush. She also served as a senior advisor to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations.
Barrett was the first civilian female to land in an F/A-18 Hornet jet fighter on an aircraft carrier. She trained in Russia as an astronaut and was the backup to Canadian space tourist Guy Laliberte for the Soyuz TM-16 flight to the International Space Station in 2009.
Barrett also served as deputty administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration and as vice chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board.
TOKYO (JAXA PR) — JAXA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) launched a three year “KiboCUBE” programme in September 2015, which offered developing countries the opportunity to deploy cube satellites from the Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” on the International Space Station (ISS).
SPARKS, Nev., September 27, 2016 (SNC PR) – Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and have announced details of the first-ever United Nations space mission at the International Astronautical Congress today in Guadalajara, Mexico. The dedicated Dream Chaser® Mission is targeted at providing developing countries the opportunity to develop and fly microgravity payloads for an extended duration in orbit; however, all United Nations Member States will be able to propose payloads for the mission.
BlackSky and the United Nations Plan to Utilize Data and Images Collected from Small Satellites in Revolutionary Ways
SEATTLE – April 28, 2016 – BlackSky, a satellite-imaging-as-a-service company, today announced that it has established an official partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). UNITAR, created in 1965, is an autonomous body within the United Nations that was formed to develop capacities to enhance global decision-making and support country-level action for shaping a better future.
ABU DHABI, UAE (UAE Space Agency PR) — A high level delegation led by HE Dr Khalifa Mohammed Al Rumaithi, Chairman of the UAE Space Agency board and the agency’s Director General, HE Dr Mohammad Nasser Al Ahbabi visited key stakeholders within the space sector in several European countries. The meetings aimed to strengthen the framework of cooperation and partnership between the UAE Space Agency and important stakeholders across Europe.
The Chairman, Director General and delegation discussed opportunities of cooperation with various institutions working in the sector, in order to exchange knowledge and experience in space technology and science. This is in line with the UAE government’s vision to build a solid scientific base for developing the UAE space industry.