Collision Course: The 2009 Iridium-Cosmos Crash

Proceedings of the 52th IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, Daejeon, 2009

11 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2019

Date Written: October 12, 2009

Abstract

On 10 February 2009, there was an orbit collision between the operational U.S. Iridium-33 satellite and the non-functional Russian Cosmos-2251 satellite. This event created new space debris that will persist for many decades. Satellites, including other satellites of the Iridium constellation, are subject to an increased collision risk. This article presents facts, political positions and an analysis of this event under existing space law. It also takes a look at the liability implications and an evolving standard of care for the mitigation of space debris.

Keywords: space law, space debris, mitigation of space debris, collision, liability, Iridium-33, Cosmos-2251

Suggested Citation

Mejía-Kaiser, Martha, Collision Course: The 2009 Iridium-Cosmos Crash (October 12, 2009). Proceedings of the 52th IISL Colloquium on the Law of Outer Space, Daejeon, 2009, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3350010

Martha Mejía-Kaiser (Contact Author)

International Institute of Space Law ( email )

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