May 2017 Space Security

Humanity is moving towards a new reality

Joseph N. Pelton International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS)

If life as we know it a century hence has not ended in a nuclear holocaust, a viral pandemic, or perhaps run-away climate change with catastrophic storms ravaging Earth, our world could still be quite different. There could be a much different and broader range of space activities than now is the case and along with them will be a need for a new range of space regulations, confidence building measures, and ‘rules of the road’ in space.

The future world of space will not be like it has been up to now. Activities will include a much wider range of operations, many different types of space applications, and the regulatory and ‘policing’ mechanisms will be considerably different. The problem is how does regulatory regime keep up? How does global space governance keep up with space technology invention and the disruptive activities of NewSpace companies and constant entrepreneurial innovation?

There was a time in human existence when change took millions of years. Then it took thousands of years, followed by hundreds of years, then decades, years, and now it seems as if our world changes in only hours or minutes.

In another century it seems likely that we may see the operation of space-based solar power systems, as well as businesses engaging in new types of mining. A hundred years hence, we may also well see the creation of permanent space bases and perhaps even true space colonisation.

In this future time the importance of understanding and coping with cosmic hazards will be much better understood. We will be actively engaged in defending against asteroids, comets, solar flares, coronal ejections, changes to Earth’s magnetosphere, and orbital space debris.

Even today, the world is moving towards a new reality where humanity will depend increasingly on a new space economy and it will be recognised that space hazards can threaten global prosperity.

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