Space science and space applications advance our knowledge of the universe. They also improve the daily lives of people worldwide through their contributions to environmental monitoring, management of natural resources, meteorological forecasting, climate modelling, satellite navigation, communications, and early warning systems to help mitigate potential disasters. If the international community wishes to increase access to the benefits of current space applications, and develop new technologies which may offer further benefits, there is a need to preserve and protect the outer space environment for use by future generations. Space activities need to be sustainable over the long term.
Throughout the years, the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space has considered different aspects of the long-term sustainability of outer space activities identifying areas of concern for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities, proposing measures that could enhance sustainability, and producing voluntary guidelines to reduce risks to long-term sustainability. It has addressed thematic areas including sustainable space utilization supporting sustainable development on Earth; space debris, space operations and tools to support collaborative space situational awareness; space weather; and regulatory regimes and guidance for actors in the space arena.