Space: The Next Tragedy of the Commons?
The satellite business is booming – and presenting humans with a new problem: How to clean up Earth’s orbit before man-made objects collide with each other? This discussion brought together analyst Harriett Brettle of Astroscale; Moriba Jah, Associate Professor at the University of Texas; Regina Peldszus of the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Daniel Porras, Space Security Fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. It was moderated by Torsten Kriening, Publisher of SpaceWatch.Global.
“Whether you realize it or not, we’re here to tell you that space is part of the global infrastructure in our knowledge base – and that’s not going to go away,” explained Jah. Few people realize that much of the data that’s used to monitor climate change come from space-based capabilities, he added.
“We assume that space is special”, observed Harriett Brettle, “that it’s this utopian society where everyone will live on Mars and it’s going to be fantastic. But we’re still going to be the same douchebags on Mars as we are on Earth if we don’t do something different.”
As Publisher of SpaceWatch.Global, Torsten Kriening combines business acumen with academic and professional experience in space management, satellite communications, and broadcast technology. He has an electrical and telecommunications engineering background and studied information technology and computer science at the Technical College Berlin.
UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)
Daniel is the Space Security Fellow at UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR). He focuses on political and legal issues surrounding space security and conducts research on the emergence of new technologies and approaches to strategic stability in outer space. Daniel’s areas of expertise include international space law and policy, emerging technology threats, and art history.
DLR Space Administration
Regina Peldszus is a senior policy officer with the German space agency, DLR Space Administration,. She leads the German delegation to the consortium of member states implementing EU Space Surveillance & Tracking, co-chairs its decision-making body, and handles studies on emerging issues at the intersection of space security, operations, and infrastructure.
The University of Texas
Moriba Jah is the director for Computational Astronautical Sciences and Technologies (CAST), a group within the Institute for Computational Engineering and Sciences (ICES) at The University of Texas at Austin. Moriba came to UT Austin by way of the Air Force Research Laboratory and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory prior to that, where he was a Spacecraft Navigator on a handful of Mars missions.
Harriet Brettle is a business analyst at Astroscale, working to develop a commercial solution to the threat of space debris. She is a co-founder of the London Space Network, organizing monthly networking events to strengthen the UK space community. Harriet is also a member of the Space Generation Advisory Council, a global non-profit that supports students and young professionals connect to the space industry.