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Competitive space foresight: Incentivizing compliance through antitrust. Lucien Rapp and Maria Lucas-Rhimbassen

on the December 17, 2020

In "Astra Astronautica" vol. 189 décembre 2020, pp 235-240

Abstract :

The purpose of this paper is to address STM through an unconventional but pragmatic angle to help optimize efficient compliance governance. This paper proposes using antitrust mechanisms in space as a pragmatic and utilitarian tool for sustainable purposes with regards to STM within a soaring space ecosystem. In the context of accelerated space commercialization and privatization, having a new space antitrust framework at the helm of such transition might indeed prove to be a flexible yet decisive tool into shaping the future of STM and ensuring perennial protection of higher space principles which are enshrined in the Outer Space Treaty and form the essence of space law.

On one hand, examples of antitrust key components include fair competition while, on the other hand, higher ethical principles of space law include non-discrimination and benefits sharing. Furthermore, in between these two extremes, security and commerce both rely, respectively on non-harmful interference and competitiveness.

To navigate through all these factors, a new space antitrust framework might indeed prove strategic and beneficial to incentivizing the creation of an adaptive, polycentric and action-oriented governance mechanism with great resonance among the commercial new space players and reaffirm the importance of sustainable space traffic management before return on investment, while still making a profit in the long run.

Updated on September 24, 2021