Heavens need environmental protection just like Earth, experts say

April 22, 2022 | UW NEWS

Starlink satellites over the Carson National Forest in New Mexico, photographed shortly after launch.M. Lewinsky

Space urgently needs special legal protection similar to that given to land, sea and atmosphere to protect its fragile environment, argues a team of scientists. The scientific, economic and cultural benefits of space should be considered against the damaging environmental impacts posed by an influx of space debris — roughly 60 miles above Earth’s surface — fueled by the rapid growth of so-called satellite mega-constellations.