The History and Politics of Space Junk

Space Policy and History Forum

July 7, 2021 | 4:30 - 6pm

Presented Online


The exponential rise in debris cluttering Earth orbits poses formidable technical, political, financial, and legal challenges, from threatening satellites and space stations to impacting Earth to potentially provoking international conflict. How is the space debris situation evolving?  Who is responsible for the management of Earth orbit? How should we approach debris removal and growth mitigation? Can the history of orbital debris help us achieve a safe and sustainable future in space?

Join the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and NASA for a virtual Space Policy and History Forum featuring a panel discussion on the politics of orbital debris within a historical context. Panelists include:

  • Jonathan McDowell, Astrophysicist, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
  • Lisa Ruth Rand, Assistant Professor of History, California Institute of Technology
  • Gabriel Swiney, Attorney Advisor, International Space Lawyer, U.S. State Department

Moderated by Bhavya Lal, Senior Advisor for Budget and Finance, NASA.

Watch the program on, the NASA History Office Facebook, and the NASA History Twitter.

Contact Teasel Muir-Harmony

About the Space Policy and History Forum
The Space Policy and History Forum is a collaboration of the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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