“On my tombstone, it should say 'Connected the world,' not 'Created orbital debris'.”
– Greg Wyler
Large constellations as Responsible Users of Space
Responsible Space FAQ
What is Responsible Space?
OneWeb uses the term Responsible Space to describe a far-reaching framework of principles and best-practice on which the company, and other Space industry participants, can build a shared commitment to sustainability in Space. The fundamental premise is that Space is a shared, natural resource which, if used responsibly, can help transform the way we live, work, and interact. Responsible Space also builds on and strengthens work already being done within the broader Space community to address this important issue. At OneWeb, we apply the principals and values of Responsible Space into all areas of the business. As we build and operate satellites, we apply Responsible Space to design and operational practices, tech innovation and collaborative partnerships.
Why does Responsible Space matter?
OneWeb recognizes the emerging Space industry has a tremendous opportunity to develop communications and create new pathways for economic development, global education, rural health care and advancements in environmental science, in a world where four billion people have no access to the internet. We believe Space-based communications can improve efficiencies and help solve many of today's pressing problems. As first movers, OneWeb is in a unique position to lead by example.
OneWeb also believes industry and governments have an exciting, shared opportunity to facilitate the development of new technologies, jobs, and industries, as well as increasing investment, diversity, and inclusion in local communities. Responsible Space speaks for the development of a sustainable, innovative and vibrant ecosystem, and for the benefit of all co-participants in this new era of Low Earth Orbit constellations.
What is OneWeb doing to advance Responsible Space?
In June 2019, OneWeb re-affirmed its commitments to Responsible Space, building on and strengthening work already begun through its Sunrise Program, the Public Private Partnership with the European Space Agency, and in collaboration with a wide range of partners preparing solutions for actively retrieving and removing debris from Space. With OneWeb, these partners are focused on cutting-edge technologies needed to address future environmental remediation needs. OneWeb is also participating in the development of a big-data sharing initiative led by WEF, in conjunction with teams from MIT and the European Space Agency (ESA), to build a Space Sustainability Rating tool for satellites to ensure long term sustainability of Space. OneWeb's commitments also include the shared responsibility to adopt practices that support job creation, investment into local communities, diversity, and inclusion.
Who are OneWeb's partners in the Responsible Space community?
OneWeb is not alone in its advocacy for Space environmental stewardship. We are working with research partners, governments and other LEO constellation operators to support and develop best Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Traffic Management (STM) capabilities. It is imperative that we develop a consolidated and comprehensive regulatory framework for Space safety and orbital debris management, and that this framework is coordinated with international counterparts everywhere for it to have full effect.
What is next for Responsible Space?
“OneWeb’s Responsible Space framework informs who we are and where we are going as a company. With OneWeb’s monthly satellite launch campaign beginning at the end of 2019 and commercial services starting in 2021, we are committed to seeing the continued advancement and discussion of the issues at stake for the Space community.”
Adrian Steckel, CEO of OneWeb
Be In The Know (@)
Our aim is to represent a broad cross-section of contributors to the Responsible Space debate. Please DM @Oneweb with any further suggestions.
Can satellite megaconstellations be responsible users of space?
ONEWEB'S VISION OF "RESPONSIBLE SPACE"
One megaconstellation company is trying to address the criticism regarding such systems by explaining how it intends to safely operate in space, setting a standard it hopes others in the industry will follow.
Keeping Space Tidy: Industry Steps Up Junk Management Efforts
The number of satellites in orbit is expected to rise considerably in the upcoming decade. More satellites mean more debris and that means a greater risk of collisions. The space industry is therefore looking for ways to safeguard space operations for years to come.
"We need global cooperation and regulation to ensure space safety. To avoid collisions, new constellations shouldn't be allowed to physically overlap existing constellations. There must also be minimum quality requirements." CNN International interviews OneWeb founder Greg Wyler
Bridging the Digital Divide: Regulatory Best Practices and Interorganizational Collaboration to Connect the World
Innovation and progress are not possible without collaboration. For new regulatory practices to have the greatest impact these efforts will have to leverage the combined strength of industry, policy-makers, and regulators. By Ruth Pritchard-Kelly, Vice President of Regulatory at OneWeb
Will megaconstellations cause a dangerous spike in orbital debris?
Megaconstellation developers planning to spend billions of dollars to build, launch and operate satellites generally support tighter rules on debris mitigation. OneWeb, for example, has announced plans to deorbit spent satellites within five years.