Oh, how the world can change in six months, but what about ten years? KPMG recently released a report where they asked 30 global leaders to predict what will happen within the space sector by 2030. KPMG got to the bottom of some burning questions, like ‘are we able to live in space?’ and ‘how will space law work?’
Bolter Squad leader, Simon Playford, has a keen interest in the area of space law and is a firm believer that space is set to become even more fiercely contested as private enterprises fund their own exploration.
The report, titled “30 Voices on 2030: The Future of Space”, boldly estimates that the global space industry could be worth up to $600 billion by 2030. Many companies across all industry sectors already use data obtained from space every day. Just last week the CSIRO announced that their Scientists have utilised new technology to map 1.7 million grain paddocks from space; saving farmers from manually drawing their paddock boundaries each season.
The Bolter Squad was thrilled to hear of the prediction that “space will get its own legal jurisdiction”, which coincides with the introduction of new space regulations in 2019 within Australia.
The Space (Launches and Returns) Act 2018 (Cth) (Space Act) replaced and very much updated the outgrown Space Activities Act 1998 (Cth). The old legislation limited the growth and innovation in the Australian space sector and did not necessarily anticipate the advancement in the industry over the previous ten years. The Space Act has lowered the insurance requirements for space launches and landings in Australia, as well as streamlining the space launch approval process by creating bulkier licence and permit requirements for overseas payloads, launch facilities, launch permits and high power rockets.
Sitting alongside the new Space Act are a variety of statutory rules which assist in reducing space debris, setting safety standards for rocket launches and clarifying key terms used throughout the Space Act. The current rules are known as Space (Launches and Returns) (General) Rules, (Launches and Returns) (Insurance) Rules 2019 and (Launches and Returns) (High Power Rocket) Rules 2019.
Of course, one factor to consider is the International Outer Space Treaty of 1967, of which Australia is still party alongside over 100 other countries. The Outer Space Treaty prohibits placing nuclear weapons in space, limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and restricts any claim of sovereignty of outer space or a celestial body. With continuous advancements in technology and businesses around the globe viewing space as an opportunity for expansion, the next ten years is set to see some remarkable developments in the space industry.