Is the UN Making a Law of Space?

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Consensus is growing on a major multinational space treaty. By Josh Meyer

Say you’re minding your own business in outer space, and all of a sudden, one of your multibillion-dollar satellites gets blown up. Or the signals it sends to Earth go haywire and fly-by-wire planes start crashing. Or, worse, those signals start telling you a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile is heading your way.

That’s how the next major war could start. One event in space—random or not—prompts another, and soon speace-based weapons start firing away. This is something that has worried countries for a few decades now, even as they’ve quietly expanded a space arms race while an unsuspecting public focuses on more mundane potential conflicts.

Well, there’s some good news today on this front. The US State Department announced that a “landmark” consensus has been achieved by the United Nations’s Group of Governmental Experts on Transparency and Confidence-Building Measures for Outer Space Activities. The group is comprised of 15 international experts nominated by UN member states that have some interest in space issues, from the usual suspects down to Kazakhstan, Romania, and Sri Lanka.

Read more at Quartz.

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