Space Traffic Management will become a key topic for European space policy in the coming years. Our new ESPI report looks into the whys and wherefores of a European approach to Space Traffic Management and proposes some perspectives for the way forward.

Space Traffic Management will become a key topic for European space policy in the coming years. Our new ESPI report looks into the whys and wherefores of a European approach to Space Traffic Management and proposes some perspectives for the way forward.

The intensification, globalization and diversification of space activities are raising new challenges to ensure the safety and sustainability of space operations. Among policy responses to these challenges, the concept of Space Traffic Management was recently put under the spotlight by the adoption of a policy in this domain by the United States, paving the road toward a new approach to better address future operational risks in an increasingly congested space environment.

The question of the relevance of Space Traffic Management is also gaining traction in Europe where space security has become a top concern and a key topic of the space policy agenda. As a follow-up of previous ESPI research, this report aims to investigate the whys and wherefores of a European approach in this domain and to provide an independent perspective on this matter. More specifically, the study aimed to:

  • Contribute to a common understanding among European stakeholders of Space Traffic Management concepts and issues at stake;
  • Examine imperatives for Europe related to Space Traffic Management and assess the relevance and added-value of a European engagement in this domain;
  • Provide an overview of the current state of affairs in Europe and identify existing frameworks, activities and initiatives directly or indirectly related to Space Traffic Management;
  • Investigate and discuss key elements and principles to be considered for the development of a European approach to Space Traffic Management.

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