Position The Argentine Republic believes that the

Position
Paper for United Nations Office for
Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA)

The Argentine Republic would like to start off by
acknowledging the progress the Argentine Republic has seen with this committee
and UNISPACE50+.  The topics to be
presented before the committee are, “Combating the
Threat of Space Junk and Orbital Debris Collisions,” and “The Privatization
of Space Exploration.” The Argentine Republic believes that the allowance of
private agencies in space exploration is not only important but necessary as
government agencies just do not have the
physical ability to progress fast enough or sometimes underfunded and
inefficient. Since the Argentine Republic believes that the matter of the
privatization of space is more important in that it directly affects the
Argentine republic more, the Argentine Republic has not had much time to
research the issue of debris in space. The representative of the Argentine
Republic believes that there is a need for space debris mitigation standards to
be administered as space debris poses a significant
danger to objects orbiting the earth and the multiple spacecraft which are exiting the earth’s orbit.

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The
Privatization of Space Exploration

The Argentine Republic has always prided itself
in the fact that there has been accelerated progress in the field of space
exploration due to our collaborations with not only international space
agencies but also with private firms and organizations including the likes of
Argentine Association for Space Technology (AATE), INVAP, an Argentine company
that provides design, integration, construction and delivery of equipment,
plants and devices and the first to be credited by NASA in Latina America or
Centro de Ensayos de Alta Tecnología Sociedad Anónima(CEATSA). These relations have
allowed the Argentine Republic’s CONAE to develop technologies faster as a
result of the larger number of resources made available by such collaborations,
such as the Paquete Argentino de Experimentos (PADE), and would also like to
mention that the private structure of these firms allow them to be more
efficient and they are better adapted to do more scientific research as a
result of the more extensive funding, not pressured by government quotas, and
public image issues. Most if not all public-sector organizations such as NASA
are answerable and are at the mercy of political powers and directly result in
their need for public approval which is not possible in scientific fields such
as space exploration.

The benefits of such relationships and
allowances are exemplary in the relation between SpaceX, the company at the
forefront of the missions to Mars, and NASA and the other space agencies during
the very recently launched space shuttle to the International Space Station
(ISS) with supplies or the United States government recently sold the old
Apollo/Cape Canaveral launchpad for their launches. As long as the
International Space Law based “formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the
Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, “the outer
space treaty, is followed, restrictions placed on the privatization of space
exploration would be an actual speed-breaker to progress as tradition
government agencies would not be able to continue the current rate of research
and data, extensive amounts of which are provided by private agencies and
research labs.

The privatization of space exploration will not
only accelerate progress in their field but creates jobs for what has become
one of the hardest fields in which to find a stable career. The creation of
jobs in this field will allow for other students to be motivated to pursue a
career in this field and more companies will sprout around the research and
development of specific space technologies. The Argentine Republic believes
that the privatization of space exploration is beneficial but there is
regulation required to make sure there is no exploitation of scarce resources
and the people of all nations around the globe including treaties for easier
international collaboration and participation along with a temporary open space
treaty to accelerate experimentation and exploration, as a result of the
evidence presented, the Argentine Republic stand in favor of the privatization
of space exploration and hopefully the global consensus is as we have seen it.

Combating
the Threat of Space Junk and Orbital Debris Collisions

Space debris, to
many, may seem like a non-issue but to countries at the forefront of space
exploration, the representative of the Argentine Republic, believes that the
space debris, over 200 million pieces of debris including a total of 16433
pieces of debris that are detectable as full-sized satellites floating just
above the earth’s stratosphere in its orbit, pose a real threat to the safety
of all 1,419 operational satellites and all future launches to both orbit and
outer space. This information on its own is enough to instill a sense of
distress into any researcher or scientist but this is compounded by the copious
amounts of anecdotal evidence presented in the form of occurrences of space
debris collisions since the events of the 1991 launch of the STS-48 during
which the first collision-avoidance maneuver occurred, a seven-second thruster
burn to avoid debris from Kosmos 955, similar maneuvers have had to be
initiated three other times in the same space program’s launches. More
recently, the first major destructive event occurred in 2009, when the
deactivated Kosmos 2251 with the Iridium 33 and more recently, last year the
Cosmos-375, itself destroyed in a collision and had previously threatened to
impact the International Space Station in 2011. This is the only proof we can
provide for our stance; this anecdotal evidence indicates that there is a very
apparent need for the mitigation and laws to be enacted to impact change in the
phenomenon of space debris. If there is no change made to the current situation,
the result will be losses in the billions and setbacks of sometimes a few
years. The representative of the Argentine Republic firmly believes in the
mitigation of space debris.