Limited Space: Allocating the Geostationary Orbit

Finch, Michael J. | January 1, 1986

In many ways, the space shuttle inaugurated a new phase in the development of space as an international resource. The shuttle may be used to launch satellites into orbit and has the additional capability of retrieving and repairing satellites. As the number of satellites in orbit increases, the problem of interference among satellites escalates. The issue centers around the geostationary orbit and the electromagnetic spectrum as well as direct satellite broadcasting from orbiting transmission stations to individual receivers. This Comment will examine the current legal and probable future state of the international zone known as the geostationary orbit and the corresponding issue of direct satellite broadcasting. Additionally, this Comment will analyze the impact of the varying positions of states regarding the geostationary orbit, direct satellite broadcasting, and the likelihood of international agreement on issues regarding these concerns. Finally, this Comment will propose possible solutions consistent with current international law.