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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Space Debris

Christos Kypraios, Elena Carpanelli

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 June 2019

Spacecraft, satellites, and space objects — Pollution

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law under the direction of Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1 One of the direct consequences of human activities in outer space is the creation of space debris. In the most general terms, these pieces of debris are uncontrollable man-made objects in the Earth’s orbit, including satellites that are no longer functional; mission related objects, such as tools lost by astronauts during extravehicular activities; and the result of satellite fragmentation events, which can be either accidental—such as in the case of non-deliberate in-orbit collisions—or intentional—such as in the case of anti-satellite weapons tests or...
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