The Global Satellite Operators Association (GSOA) has recently issued its Code of Conduct on Space Sustainability. This code calls for satellite operators to implement responsible practices that address various challenges related to space operations. These practices include mitigating the risk of in-orbit collision, minimizing the threat of non-trackable debris, protecting human life in space, and limiting the impact on optical astronomy.
Satellite communications services play a crucial role in providing essential connectivity that complements terrestrial networks, contributing to the delivery of universal service and coverage. It is projected that the number of satellite broadband users will double to at least 500 million people by 2030, significantly helping to reduce the digital divide.
GSOA, as a global industry organization representing over 70 members including satellite operators in all orbits, launchers, suppliers, and partners, takes the lead in addressing global challenges and providing a unified voice for the satellite industry. The code of conduct has been developed and industry-wide approved to identify best practices and mitigations in order to preserve access to space for future generations.
The satellite industry has been vital in bridging the digital divide and connecting the unconnected, whether they are on land, at sea, or in the air. The development and implementation of key sustainability practices are crucial for the industry as it continues to grow and generate socio-economic benefits worth more than $250 billion globally.
The Code of Conduct endorsed by GSOA recommends that satellite operators comply with practices in four areas of space sustainability. These areas include mitigating the risk of in-orbit collision, minimizing the threat of non-trackable debris, preserving human life in space, and limiting the impact on optical astronomy. Operators are expected to take steps to share information about debris, design satellites that do not become debris, protect astronauts, and collaborate with astronomers to minimize negative impacts on ground-based optical astronomy.
The GSOA is recognized as the representative body for satellite operators by various international, regional, and national entities, including regulators, policymakers, and standards-setting organizations. The association serves as a premier platform for worldwide collaboration within the satellite ecosystem.