COPUOS

COPUOS will, for the remainder of this MUN, concern itself with the following issues:


Addressing the private utilization of space

Privatization occurs when a previously government-owned business operation or property becomes owned by a private, non-government party. 

In the early decades of the Space Age, the US and the (then) USSR governmental space agencies, NASA and the Soviet Space Program, worked with private companies and affiliated design bureaus respectively, to explore new space travelling technology. The operational and developmental costs of these improvements in technology were fully covered by the governmental agencies. 

During the 1980’s, entrepreneurs started working on the design and development of private space-flight capable vehicles, this first of which was launched in 1982, a repurposed minuteman second stage, as launched by Space Services inc. become the first privately owned rocket to reach space. The first commercial spacecraft to visit a lunar orbit, the HGS-1, a communications satellite operated by (at the time) Hughes Global Services was launched in 1992. American president George W Bush signed the Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004, thus providing a legal framework for commercial human spaceflight. 

As of today, most people have heard of SpaceX’s attempts at spaceflight, and the comments of their (in)famous CEO Elon Musk about (privately) colonising Mars. Other, lesser known privately owned spacefaring companies include, but are not limited to: Stratolaunch Systems, Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic.


Facing the danger of space junk

The very first artificial satellite, the Sputnik 1, was launched into an elliptical low earth orbit in 1957. Since then, hundreds of missions, some manned and some unmanned, have been launched toward the big beyond in the name of science. Some of those dropped down to earth and burned up in the atmosphere, but some stayed up in orbit around the earth. The lack of moving external forces acting upon these satellites can cause some to stay in earth orbit for ever, while others landed among the stars, fated to fly around forever, or until the heat death of the universe, whichever comes first.