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Thousands more satellites will soon orbit Earth – we need better rules to prevent space crashes

By Lauren Napier, PhD Researcher in Space Law and Policy, Northumbria University, Newcastle
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In recent years, satellites have become smaller, cheaper, and easier to make with commercial off the shelf parts. Some even weigh as little as one gram. This means more people can afford to send them into orbit. Now, satellite operators have started launching mega-constellations – groups of hundreds or even thousands of small satellites working together – into orbit around Earth.

Instead of one large satellite, groups of small satellites can provide coverage of the entire planet at once. Civil,…

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