Will China Stop Recklessly Disposing of Space Debris?
As a general principle of international laws and norms for space, it is responsible behavior to limit the threat or risk from space activities to people and property on Earth.
On July 24, China’s Long March 5B rocket successfully delivered a second module of their new space station to orbit. During the launch, the first stage of the rocket body also reached orbital velocity instead of falling downrange. This event has garnered international interest as the 22.5-ton piece of space debris now orbits the Earth in an uncontrolled reentry.
We spoke with Robin Dickey, Aerospace space policy analyst and author of Building Normentum: A Framework for Space Norm Development about the consequences of these actions and possible solutions.