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|Origin:||Proceedings 31st Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, IISL, pp. 296-303|
The efficient utilisation of near-Earth space may be facilitated in future by allocating positions in certain popular low Earth orbits to specified users, as currently occurs in the use of the geostationary Earth orbit (GEO). However, it would be more difficult to reach such agreement on the utilisation of low Earth orbits for a number of reasons.
First, the definition of other Earth orbits than GEO is more complex in physical terms. In particular, spacecraft in such orbits do not remain in constant positions relative to the Earth. Second, there are many mutually exclusive ways of dividing near-Earth space into nonintersecting orbital zones. Consequently it would be necessary not only to adjudicate between different users' demands within any selected orbit, but also to decide between different ways of partitioning near-Earth space into separate zones.
The paper identifies and discusses a number of factors that must be considered in any attempt to make such an allocation, including factors relating to the legal status that such orbits and their users should be accorded, and factors that would be relevant in selecting appropriate values for each of the physical parameters required to define a specific orbit.
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|Keywords:||Vehicles:Law , Vehicles:Operations:Traffic|