"Gravity" in Real Life: Legal and Political Implications of an Accident in Space

Monday, December 9, 2013



Inspired by the recent box office hit and cinematic masterpiece, Gravity, Secure World Foundation(SWF) held a panel discussion and luncheon on Monday, December 9, 2013, that looked at the various legal, policy, political, and strategic implications of the scenario depicted in director Alfonso Cuarón's celebrated film. Could such an accident really happen today? What is the real life threat of space debris as compared to that portrayed in the film? Legal issues discussed included what the current international legal regime brings to this scenario and the difficulty of defining space debris, as highlighted by the recently published Guide to Space Law Terms published by SWF and the George Washington University's Space Policy Institute. The discussion discussed the political and strategic consequences in the international community, a brief history on anti-satellite (ASAT) programs, as well as the Chinese space station Tiangong, both of which featured prominently in the film, and finally, what is being done to address such a threat today, especially at the international level.

To learn more about the event, hear the audio recording, and view presentations, please click here.

Last updated on December 26, 2013