How Ukraine can rein in Musk
International space law does not yet fully regulate the issue of fair use of outer space for all earthlings/countries (experts in this narrow area of international law can correct me)
For example, despite the sharp increase in the number of satellites (both active and expired, which are actually space debris that is already causing harm), Elon Musk's companies alone have been given permission to launch 4,425 satellites in 83 orbits (from 1,110 to 1,325 km from the Earth), which will be several times higher than the number of existing satellites.
Perhaps, similar to greenhouse gas emissions, we should introduce a quota principle, according to which each country will have the right to launch and place a certain number of space objects into orbit? Countries that do not have space programs or compete in the development of near-Earth space can sell their quotas to those who will increase the number of space objects many times over the next 10–15 years.
Then Elon Musk will not play geopolitics or sue the Ukrainian company for the name Starlink, but will probably turn to Ukraine to buy a quota or offer an agreement on partial participation in projects and joint use.
Perhaps, our experts in this field should look at whether there are options for making appropriate changes to the already outdated "Convention on International Liability for Damage Caused by Space Objects" or propose a draft of a new international agreement that would regulate this issue.
In any case, Ukraine should be very active in this area. This is a matter of national security!
About the author. Valeriy Chaly, diplomat, former Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ukraine to the United States.
The editors do not always share the views expressed by the authors of the blogs.