Pack It In, Pack It Out: Updating Policy and Standards for Cislunar Sustainability

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A future of robust civil, military, and commercial activity in cislunar space is driving a need for updates to the global standards for spaceflight safety and disposal. In anticipation of compliance challenges for civil and military missions, The Aerospace Corporation (Aerospace) undertook a cislunar-focused review of three foundational documents on space-debris mitigation, disposal, and safety of flight. This study has found that many aspects of operating in the cislunar regime are incompatible with the current guidelines and requirements. If unified government action is not taken in the next two years, widely disparate standards of sustainability may be enforced by different organizations based on extemporaneous rulemaking in the absence of a concerted, quantitative effort to determine the best path forward.


Author: Joseph W. Gangestad