With LEO orbit crowding, absent regulators may not be industry’s best friend

by Peter B. de Selding

DUBAI — Government and industry officials openly questioned how the usability of low Earth orbit can be assured when massive numbers of satellites are being added to an environment with a pre-existing debris issue, and regulatory oversight has largely gone missing.

Orbital debris is a well-worn topic at international technical gatherings, but the 76th International Astronautical Congress (IAC) held here Oct. 25-29 was notable for the diversity of voices now making unprompted references to it.

Examples: Philippe Baptiste, the new director-general of the

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