The United Nations/Austria World Space Forum on the topic “Access to Space4All” will take place at the Vienna International Centre in Vienna, Austria, from 18 to 22 November 2019. Building on the series of three High-Level Fora which were organized between 2016 and 2018 in relation to the UNISPACE+50 anniversary event, the World Space Forum in Vienna will be the first in a new series of events. The Forum will focus on the advancement of the “Space2030” Agenda and will aim at enabling continuous dialogue among the global space community on the topics of space economy, space society, space accessibility and space diplomacy. More information can be found on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The 25th edition of the UN/Austria Symposium took place from 2 to 4 September 2019 in Graz under the title “Space: A tool for Accessibility, Diplomacy and Cooperation”. During the Symposium, presentations, panel discussions, workshops and demo sessions aimed at providing a view of how space can function as a tool for cooperation and diplomacy as well as of how the use of space data and technology can be enhanced. Due to the success of the multidisciplinary approach adopted during the two previous Symposia, in 2019 the focus was again not only on space science and technology but also on space law and policy. More information can be found on the website of the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
19 -21 March 2019: ESA-ECSL Workshop on Space Debris: Legal, Standards and Tools, ESA ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
1 April: IISL/ECSL Symposium, UNCOPUOS Legal Subcommittee, Vienna, Austria
25 April: ECSL Practitioners’ Forum: The Moon Village Concept – Practical, Business and Legal Challenges, ESA ESTEC, Netherlands
26 April: ECSL Young Lawyers’ Symposium, ESA ESTEC, Netherlands
21- 24 May: European Rounds of the Manfred Lachs Moot Court, Paris, France
2 – 13 September: 28th ECSL Summer Course on Space Law and Policy, Messina, Italy
More information can be found under: www.esa.int/ecsl
On 12 February 2019 the NPOC Space Law Austria organized together with the Secure World Foundation the event “Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities: Implementation Experiences and Challenges” on the margins of the 56th session of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS. During its mandate from 2011-2018, the Working Group on the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities reached agreement on the texts of a Preamble and 21 Guidelines. The panel event focused on the implementation plans, experiences and challenges of a number of States with different levels of technical and regulatory capabilities in the space domain. States and Permanent Observers were invited to share their thoughts and experiences regarding the implementation of the Guidelines at the event.
From 17 to 19 September 2018, the NPOC Space Law organized together with UNOOSA and the Graz University of Technology the UN/Austria Symposium “Space for the Sustainable Development Goals: Stronger partnerships and strengthened cooperation for 2030 and beyond”. In presentations, panel discussions and workshops, the importance of space technology, applications and activities for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals was examined. Due to the success of the multidisciplinary approach adopted during last year’s Symposium, in 2018 the focus of the Symposium was again not only on space technology but also on space law and policy.
On 13 April 2018 the ECSL National Point of Contact for Space Law Austria organized the Event: “The Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group – Discussion on the 19 Draft Building Blocks” at the Vienna International Centre. After a welcome and introduction by Professor Irmgard Marboe, head of the NPOC Space Law Austria, Dr Giuseppe Reibaldi, Executive Secretary of the Hague International Space Resources Governance Working Group, gave a general overview of the main objectives, the membership and the structure of the Working Group. Professor Olavo de Oliveira Bittencourt Neto of the Catholic University of Santos, Brazil, who is Vice-Chair of the Working Group, presented some important features of the 19 Draft Building Blocks. Sagi Kfir, general counsel, vice president of policy and co-founder at Deep Space Industries, presented the industry perspective. The presentations were followed by a lively discussion with the audience, including UNCOPUOS members and observers, academia, experts, industry representatives and others. More information on the event can be found here.
From 3 to 7 September 2017, the NPOC Space Law Austria organized together with UNOOSA and the Technical University Graz the Symposium “Access to Space: Holistic Capacity Building for the 21st Century“ in preparation of the anniversary celebrations of UNISPACE+50.
In eight panel discussions as well as several workshops, the topic capacity building was examined from different perspectives, whereby the focus was not only on capacity building in the area of space technology but, for the first time in the long-standing history of the UN/Austria Symposium, also in the area of space law.
More information on the Symposium can be found under:
The NPOC Space Law Austria organised an evening event on the topic Planetary Defence: Technical, Legal and Economic Aspects on 2 February 2017 at the Natural History Museum Vienna.
Every day approximately 100 tons of cosmic material reaches the Earth. Most of it in the form of dust or small rocks, which burn up as meteors in the atmosphere. Sometimes, however, larger objects, asteroids or comets, enter the Earth’s atmosphere, which can cause considerable damage. The asteroid that exploded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk in February 2013 had a diameter of only 17–20 meters, yet it produced a blast wave that damaged more than 7000 buildings and injured over 1600 persons. The impact of a larger object could thus potentially cause a serious catastrophe on Earth.
Therefore, scientists are continuously searching for so called Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), asteroids and comets, which could come dangerously close to Earth and pose a risk of causing severe damage. Moreover, scientists are working on various concepts for deflecting these objects. During the event, three international experts discussed the technical, legal and economic aspects of planetary defence.
Dr Line Drube from the Institute of Planetary Research at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) gave an introduction to the NEO impact threat, deflection concepts, and the work done by the United Nations Space Mission Planning Advisory Group in this regard.
Prof Dr Frans von der Dunk, Professor of Space Law at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, College of Law, presented an overview of the legal aspects of planetary defence. He discussed such major issues as a responsibility to protect, liability for damage caused by planetary defence activities, institutional issues involved in global responses to NEO threats, the use of kinetic force including, as a last resort, nuclear force, and the possible involvement of the private sector in discovery and deflection activities.
Egon Döberl, CEO of the Austrian company ASA Astrosysteme, spoke about the economic aspects of planetary defence. Today fully robotic telescope systems can be used for the search and observation of NEOs. Mr Döberl presented the history, future and economic aspects of such telescope systems from the point of view of an entrepreneur.
Further information on the event can be found here.