The overall mission of the Space Debris Mitigation: Understanding the Business Case and Proposing Solutions project is to investigate the pressing issue of space debris mitigation from a business pers..
The overall mission of the Space Debris Mitigation: Understanding the Business Case and Proposing Solutions project is to investigate the pressing issue of space debris mitigation from a business perspective and how it will affect the U.S. commercial sector in the growing Low Earth Orbit (LEO) economy. Investigating and creating possible business cases for companies to reduce space debris of their own making; to find potential national solutions that support the business case; and to add to the growing conversation on space sustainability are a huge focus to the project. The U.S. Department of Defense is tracking over 20,000 artificial satellites — payloads, rocket bodies, and debris, where approximately 90 percent of these satellites are non- operational. With no mandates and the recent boom of the commercial sector, the amount of space debris in LEO is consistently rising. Our proposals for space debris mitigation can be broken down into the short and long term. In the short term, we propose a tax plan, similar to the carbon tax, where companies' satellites will be taxed according to the volume of their debris until it is no longer in orbit. In the long term, we propose collision coverage in insurance utilizing the space sustainability rating where it will incentivize good behavior and can be used to determine premiums, offer discounts, and even refuse insurance for underperformers. Moving forward, we will have to incorporate foreseeable issues with our tax plan such as loopholes, tax avoidance, and NASA, as it is federally funded.