Who compensates for the loss of life and property due to falling space debris?

Who compensates for the loss of life and property due to falling space debris?

With the advent of private companies, space travel is now on the rise. At the same time, fragments of satellites, spacecraft, and space station debris will fall from the Earth's orbit into space as space debris. Recently, a huge piece of a Chinese satellite weighing 20,000 kg went out of control and fell into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives. Earlier, in May 2020, another Chinese rocket landed uncontrollably on the West African coast.

As such accidents increase, so does the risk of damage. After all, is there any compensation for the damage caused by such accidents? Is there any international law in the world that addresses such accidents? The answer is yes. Governments of different countries have ratified and approved such laws by mutual consent. The law includes a provision to protect and compensate for the loss of property caused by space garbage.

What is space garbage?

Any man-made object in space that is inactively orbiting the Earth's orbit is called space debris. According to a study, by January 2020, more than 8,000 metric tons of space debris has accumulated in Earth's orbit.

As the incidence of such pieces of garbage falling out of the cell and falling towards the earth uncontrollably is increasing, many are worried whether such incidents can be prevented. And who will compensate for the damage caused by this? According to scientists, three important steps need to be taken for this. The first is that the authorities must take precautionary measures against such a dangerous situation. Second, a draft should be prepared for compliance and monitoring of rules and protocols. Third, if such an accident occurs, an outline should also be drawn up to prepare the responsibilities of international organizations.

What happens if a spaceship crashes into a house?

If a country's spacecraft crashes or crashes into your home, there is an international treaty for such an accident. The current space laws are the 1976 Outer Space Treaty (Igatbach Cubav Tbhabatath) and the 1972 Liability Convention. Both laws have been approved by the United States. According to these treaties, if a country's spacecraft is damaged or crashed and falls within the borders of any other country, that issue becomes an issue between the two countries.

Space waste-producing countries are responsible for such accidents at the international level and the damage caused should be compensated. Even if the damage was done by a private company in that country. For example, the United States has to pay compensation for the damage caused by the launch of the spacecraft launched by Alan Musk's company SpaceX.

How is the law implemented?

According to this law, a country that has suffered a loss due to space debris is not required to prove how much damage was caused by debris or damaged piece of spacecraft falling on the surface of the earth or in its ship flying in the sky. At the political level, the process of compensation moves forward through dialogue between the two countries.

Russia had given Rs 290 million

In 1978, the Soviet Union's Cosmos 954 satellite landed on a vacant lot in northwestern Canada. After the accident, radioactive debris from the vehicle's nuclear reactor spread over a large area of ​​area. A joint US-Canadian team removed the radioactive waste for 14 million at the time, or about 1.34 billion. Canada then demanded 6 million in compensation from the Soviet Union. In the end, the Soviet Union paid Canada 3 million Canadian dollars (290 million) in compensation.

This is the first and only time that compensation has been paid using treaty agreements made under the Convention on Liability. This is the only case where a country's spacecraft and space debris have crashed in another country.

How far has China's own space station been built?

China has announced in June that it will send three of its astronauts to a Chinese space station under construction for a three-month stay. The announcement comes a day after a cargo spacecraft was successfully launched and attached to the space station.

According to the Chinese Manned Space Agency, the Tianhe module, which is the main module of the Chinese space station, is currently building rooms for astronauts. Yang Liwei, director of a department affiliated with China's space manned mission and the first astronaut, spoke about China's upcoming major mission.

Yang, who became the first Chinese to go into space on October 15, 2003, is preparing for the departure of three astronauts from the Shenzhou 12 spacecraft this June. According to a report in China's official newspaper Global Times, the astronauts will stay on the space station for three months, during which time the station will perform maintenance as well as perform various scientific experiments.

The passengers are currently in Leaves to Quarantine and are finalizing work related to the space mission. According to Yang, the expedition will include all male passengers, but will also include women in future missions.

China's space station

China plans to launch 11 spacecraft between 2021 and 2022 to build its space station. Under which two campaigns have been completed. Last Saturday, China sent a Tianju two-cargo vehicle.

According to the Chinese space agency, the mission, which started at 11 a.m., will launch three modules of the station, four cargoes, and four spacecraft with astronauts. China plans to launch 10 more such modules by 2022, orbiting the Earth.

In the first phase, China launched a key module of the station on April 29. The Tianhe module is becoming a living room for astronauts working on the space station.

According to Yang Liwei, the astronauts living in those rooms will go out and do various things.

"It will be a regular routine for astronauts to get out of these rooms in the coming days and it will also significantly increase the duration of astronauts' work," he said.

The Chinese space station, which is being built, is considered a competitor to the existing and outdated multinational space station. China believes the new space station, which orbits the Earth at an altitude of 340 to 450 kilometers above the Earth, will be completed by 2022 next year.

There is currently only one space station in Earth's orbit. Its name is the International Space Station, which does not include China.

China is becoming an important power in space

China, a major power in space science, launched the Mars mission last year. A Chinese rover is currently gathering information about Mars.

However, in the field of space science, China had a very slow start. China first sent its astronaut into Earth orbit in 2003. China became the third country to send astronauts after the Soviet Union and the United States.

So far, China has sent two space centers, Tiangong 1 and Tiangong 2, into Earth orbit. Of course, they were both trial stations and could only stay in Earth orbit for a short time. The new space station, Tianhe, is said to have been in Earth orbit for at least 10 years.

The current International Space Station in Earth orbit will cease to operate from 2024. So at that time, the Chinese space station Tianhe was probably orbiting the earth as the only space station.