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Orbiting a Solution to Anti-Satellite Weapons

Written by: Oliver Leicester

Edited by: Clelia Vettori

Supervised by: Cecilia Rosa Yáñez

One of the many problems that the scientific community is facing today is space debris. Space debris is exceptionally dangerous as it can cause the Kessler Effect, a scenario where objects in space collide, creating an exponentially growing mount of rubble orbiting the planet. What is especially concerning is the use of anti-satellite weapons (ASATs), which leave hundreds of thousands of debris items in space, putting astronauts and other satellites at risk. If states continue to test their ASAT weapons or use them to attack other satellites, this could have a dramatic impact on all space actors as well as future generations. This study will explore why the international community has not banned the use of ASATs yet and it will investigate how to achieve this outcome through an in-depth analysis of space-related treaties.