Space Sustainability and the Freedom of Outer Space

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT: The concept of sustainable development states that every nation is free to determine how to meet its own needs and accrue its own benefits as long as it does not prejudice the ability of future generations to do the same. This end is challenging in the space domain as the existing emphasis on national concerns obscures the larger issues of international structural inequalities—lack of access, barriers to capacity building and technology absorption—while simultaneously magnifying issues related to market protectionism, which are then disguised as security issues. This article makes the claim that it is possible to correct this distortion while safeguarding the focus on global issues, such as space sustainability. While the concept of space sustainability is understood differently depending on the forum for discussion, it is clear that the dominant understanding coincides with the logic for space cooperation as “Governance for Global Security,” and this focuses more on the needs of the present space actors. Analytical tools designed with the “Cosmopolitan Approaches to International Law” express forms of cooperation that produce reciprocal obligations to enable all participants, both present and aspirant, in space exploration and use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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