Vatican urges UN to act on space junk

There have been roughly 2,200 satellites launched into the Earth’s orbit since 1957 (CNA/Public domain)

With more and more satellites orbiting the Earth, measures need to be taken to prevent collisions in outer space that give rise to dangerous “space debris,” a Holy See representative has warned the United Nations. Source: CNA.

Archbishop Gabriele Caccia said on Friday that preventative measures within a “globally-agreed framework” are needed to protect outer space due to the “massive increase in use and dependence” on satellites.

“Despite the unending outward dimension of the space environment, the region just above us is actually becoming relatively crowded and subject to increasing commercial activities,” the apostolic nuncio and permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations said.

“So many satellites are being launched to provide internet access today, for example, that astronomers are finding that these risk obscuring the study of stars,” the archbishop noted.

Archbishop Caccia said it is in the clear interest of all countries to establish “the so-called ‘rules of the road’ to eliminate the risks of satellite collisions.”

There have been roughly 2,200 satellites launched into the Earth’s orbit since 1957. Collisions among those satellites have created debris. There are tens of thousands of pieces of “space junk” larger than 10cm in orbit and millions more of smaller size.

Archbishop Caccia said the UN must work to preserve the “universal character of outer space, increasing their common interests in it for the benefit of every person regardless of earthly nationality”.

FULL STORY

Vatican asks UN to eliminate the risks of satellite collisions in outer space (CNA)

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