University of Cambridge > > Institute of Astronomy Extra Talks > Why Policy Matters for Space Science - Scientific Collaboration in a Time of Geopolitical Shift

Why Policy Matters for Space Science - Scientific Collaboration in a Time of Geopolitical Shift

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr. Manda Banerji.

2019 had been a busy year for the space sector. With the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, and China’s lunar programme on the far side of the moon, it should have been an incredible time to push the frontier of space science and collaborations. As we enter 2020, however, the technology sector and the International Science and Technology community found themselves operating in an increasingly testing environment for business and scientific collaboration. Astronomers have been vocally critical of SpaceX’s first phase of Starlink project, noting the potentially detrimental impact of “light pollution” and frequency interference associated with the introduction of mega satellite constellations. At the same time, the increasing commercialization of the space industry has brought new challenges to orbital congestion and spectrum governance. While space debris and near earth orbital environment have long constitute major concerns in international policy arena, discussions on “light pollution” and interference with scientific research were but marginalized debates at international forums. Coupled with deteriorating inter-State rivalry manifested through technology trade discord, recent technology policy developments have cast a sombre shadow over what should have been a golden era of scientific advance.

This seminar seeks to engage the scientific communities in a dialogue on the interplay between policy and scientific pursuits. It will address key opportunities and challenges that the space sector faces in recent years, and explore how the policy landscape can adequately prepare for rapid technological advances and commercialization in the 21st century.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Extra Talks series.

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