On 28 June 2023, one year after the UK government’s announcement of its Plan for Space Sustainability, His Majesty King Charles III unveiled the “Astra Carta” framework, giving this new space sustainability venture royal endorsement. The seal is meant to represent the UK’s call to action for public and private sectors to work together on responsible and sustainable use of outer space.
The Astra Carta aims to accelerate sustainable practices across the global space industry. It also recognises the unique role that space can play in creating a more sustainable future on Earth and the need for the space industry to consider environmental and sustainability impacts beyond our planet. Its ambition encourages a focus on placing sustainability at the core of space activity.
On the same day, the Space Sustainability Symposium took place in London under the leadership of UK Science Minister, George Freeman MP, who stressed the crucial importance of urgently tackling the mounting issue of space junk. Minister Freeman signed a Memorandum of Principles for Space Sustainability, together with more than 100 organisations and industry leaders across the space sector. The signatories to this Memorandum of Principles seek to promote and facilitate international engagement with, and understanding and management of, the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, and through these efforts establish transparent Space Sustainability Principles of responsible behaviour.
The Memorandum of Principles is not intended to create any legal obligations or legally enforceable rights, but, in the absence of a legally binding framework on space sustainability, it strengthens the UK’s position and commitment in leading the global effort to tackle space debris and keep safe the services citizens rely on every day.
Access Partnership is closely monitoring developments in space sustainability, as well as the regulatory environment surrounding all new space industries. For more information, please contact Chrystel Erotokritou at [email protected].