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Tanja Masson-Zwaan: 'Regular near-collisions in space'

Satellites belonging to American space company SpaceX recently came very close to a Chinese space station. Experts are calling for traffic management rules in space.

Tanja Masson

According to the latest data from the Union of Concerned Scientists, around 4550 active satellites are currently circling at high speed around Earth. There is an increasing amount of traffic in space, but with no traffic rules.

The chance of accidents happening is becoming greater and greater, says Assistant Professor Tanja Masson-Zwaan in German magazine Wirtschaftswoche. 'But stricter rules for the use of space alone won’t solve the problem – after all, space can’t just be divided up into national sovereignty zones, each satellite goes once round the whole world every ninety minutes. Just like the International Civil Aviation Organization organises air traffic, perhaps we need a worldwide transport organization for traffic in space.'

Read the full interview (in German) in Wirtschaftswoche.

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