Contributed Talk - Splinter Protection

Thursday, 14 September 2023, 14:45   (H 2035)

Will we lose the sky to megaconstellations or can we still prevent it?

Felicitas Mokler

The appearance of megaconstellations in orbit poses a severe problem to observational astronomy but also beyond. Although some efforts are taken to reduce the impact of LEO satellites on astronomical observations this is not enough. Especially when considering the fact that there are many more megaconstellations planned to be placed in orbit apart from Starlink or OneWeb in the future one might wonder whether we will lose our sky for good. Apart from further impact for astronomy this development of megaconstellations will be a challenge for other parts of society as well and for mankind on the whole. This talk will give an overview of the current status as well as planned megaconstellations by other companies or governments/states and give an estimate of the consequences. At the same time I will shed light on this issue from the legal point of view in terms of national and international space law at UN level. Eventually I would like to discuss the following questions: What are the (realistic) possibilities to tackle this problem? What efforts are taken already? How successful have they been so far? And eventually, would it make sense to address this challenge by involving other parts of society affected by this in a joint effort?