An analysis of the international and South African legal framework relating to outer space pollution
Since the start of the space race in the 1950's the outer space environment has significantly changed due to human expansion and the subsequent by-products known as outer space pollution/debris. As outer space rapidly evolved from a military high-ground into a commercialised asset exploited by private and state owned enterprises, the treaties negotiated in the 1960's and 1970's quickly became out-dated. As a result outer space, especially the orbits around the Earth are occupied by countless masses of non-functional man made objects, some expected to remain for millions of years. This dissertation argues that the current national and international legal framework will be inadequate to address the problem of outer space pollution and that legal and political action will be necessary on a global scale. With the planned developments as set out in the National Space Policy, South Africa is set on becoming a leading provider of outer space services on the African continent and will, as a consequence, have a progressively bigger impact on the outer space environment. With a growing dependence on outer space technologies, developed and developing economies around the world cannot ignore the immense negative consequences that outer space debris could pose to their development. This study will thus, by examining the international and national legal framework regarding outer space pollution, provide legal recommendations pertaining to the principles and obligations that the South African legal framework will have to make provision for, in order to minimise the negative effect on the outer space environment.
- Law 
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