Space Traffic Management Terminology

Space traffic management (STM) is a topic of much international discussion in the aerospace community.
Published Date


Space traffic management (STM) terminology is not universally harmonized today. The lack of a shared vocabulary stems from the continued evolution of the STM and space traffic coordination (STC) concepts. A shared vocabulary supports accurate comprehension and thus eases efficient communication. Space is international in nature, and, for managing and coordinating space traffic, a standardized vocabulary is necessary for the various actors in the space arena to achieve success. In this paper, we summarize the significance of effective STM, present the causes of the variance in terminology, and highlight the challenges to reaching consensus. By sharing with other stakeholders, we intend to foster consensus and encourage the use of these terms and definitions in international guidelines, standards, and agreements across the community.


Author: Mark Skinner