Read Complaint About How China’s Space Station Had to Avoid Collisions with SpaceX’s Starlink Satellites

Sixty Starlink satellites separate from a Falcon 9 second stage on April 22, 2020. (Credit: SpaceX website)

United Nations General Assembly
Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

A/AC.105/1262
Distr.: General
6 December 2021
English
Original: Chinese

Information furnished in conformity with the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies

Note verbale dated 3 December 2021 from the Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations (Vienna) addressed to the Secretary-General

The Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations (Vienna) presents its compliments to the Secretary-General of the United Nations and has the honour to refer to article V of the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies 1 (the Outer Space Treaty), which provides that “States Parties to the Treaty shall immediately inform the other States Parties to the Treaty or the Secretary-General of the United Nations of any phenomena they discover in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, which could constitute a danger to the life or health of astronauts”. In accordance with the above-mentioned article, China hereby informs the Secretary-General of the following phenomena which constituted dangers to the life or health of astronauts aboard the China Space Station.

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Hydrosat Raises $10 Million Seed Round to Assess Climate Change From Space

Funding led by OTB Ventures for thermal infrared satellite constellation

WASHINGTON (Hydrosat PR) — Hydrosat, the geospatial data and analytics company, announces a new Seed Round raising $10M to create its thermal infrared satellite constellation. Today’s funding brings Hydrosat’s total capital raised to over $15M. The oversubscribed venture round was led by OTB Ventures, a leading European venture firm with a dedicated space investment vehicle, OTB Space Program I. Freeflow Ventures, Cultivation Capital, Santa Barbara Venture Partners, and Expon Capital also participated in the round.

Hydrosat began as a satellite company monitoring the water cycle to rapidly detect environmental stress brought about by climate change. Recent climate disasters, ranging from drought on the West Coast to flash floods on the East Coast of the United States, illustrates the growing importance of this technology as the world’s major governments meet this month for the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Conference.

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ESA Accelerates Space-based Climate Action at COP26

This image of Earth was compiled using tens of thousands of images from the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission. (Credit: Contains modified Copernicus Sentinel data (2019–20), processed by ESA and cloud layer from NASA)

PARIS (ESA PR) — ESA is poised to showcase how satellite data underpins global efforts to avert climate catastrophe at pivotal international talks held in the UK.

This year’s edition of the United Nations climate change conference – COP26 – takes place in Glasgow, Scotland, from 31 October to 12 November.

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UN Honors NOAA-ISRO Project: Land-Sea Interactions and Public Safety

Credit: Kate Hodge, for Global Science and Technology, Inc.

SILVER SPRING, Md. (NOAA PR) — Satellites collect huge amounts of information about our planet’s oceans and land masses every day, and complex mathematical algorithms help us process and make sense of it. However, since these algorithms are designed to work best for either one or the other, it is more difficult to get high-quality, accurate information about where the two come together—the coasts. That’s where NOAA’s Committee on Earth Observation Satellites—Coastal Observations, Applications, Services, and Tools (CEOS COAST) comes in. 

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An Enormous Increase in Launches Threatens More Orbital Debris

Credit: ESA/UNOOSA

PARIS (ESA PR) — Since the beginning of the space age, with the launch of Sputnik in 1957, we have launched thousands of rockets carrying more than ten thousand satellites into space.

The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in these numbers, and over the last few decades there has been a change in the type of mission flown, with private companies (yellow) launching smaller satellites than those launched by non-commercial agencies (blue).

This graph, created in a joint project between ESA and the UN, also shows the number of unregistered objects (red) has increased in recent years. It should be noted that these are objects not yet registered with the UN, and registration rates are expected to increase.

In episode 4 of the ESA-UNOOSA space debris series, Ian Freeman and Francesca Letizia discuss what these changes mean for the future of spaceflight and the creation of space debris.

NASA, UN Sign Memorandum of Understanding on Peaceful Uses of Space

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — NASA and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) pledging cooperation in areas of science and technology to support the peaceful use of outer space.

The MOU, signed Thursday, Dec. 17, brings together NASA’s wealth of publicly available Earth observation data and dynamic exploration opportunities with UNOOSA’s unique position as the only U.N. entity dedicated to outer space affairs.

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International Open Letter on Space Mining

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. 

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Letter to Canadian Government on Space Mining

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”).

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Canadian Institute Urges United Nations Agreement on Use of Outer Space Resources

Thermal mining of ices on cold solar system bodies (Credit: George Sowers)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

In a challenge to the United States’ position that extraterrestrial resources can be legally extracted and utilized under existing law, The Outer 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.

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UK Push for Landmark UN Resolution to Agree Responsible Behaviour in Space

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.

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New UK Space Projects to Boost Global Sustainable Development Receive £3.4 Million Cash Boost

  • 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.

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U.S. Secretary of State Blasts Iranian Satellite Launch

Michael R. Pompeo
Secretary of State

Press Statement

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.

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Massive Asteroid (Day) to Strike Earth on June 30

Asteroid Ida

LUXEMBOURG (Asteroid Day PR) — Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of global awareness and education about asteroids, will celebrate its sixth year on 30 June. 

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).

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Experts Say Much More Required to Avoid Satellite Collisions, Space Debris

Space debris

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

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.

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Report: China Could Follow South China Sea Strategy in Seeking Space Resources

Optical Mining of Asteroids, Moons, and Planets to Enable Sustainable Human Exploration and Space Industrialization (Credits: Joel Sercel)

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.

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