SWF Podcast - "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 that discussed the various legal, policy, political, and strategic implications of the scenario depicted in director Alfonso CuarĂ³n's celebrated film Gravity and if such an accident in space were to occur in real life. 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 to be discussed will include 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. What would be 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, will be covered during the event as well. Finally, what is being done to address such a threat today, especially at the international level?

For more information, including speaker presentations, please visit the event page.


Dr. Henry Hertzfeld, Research Professor of Space Policy and International Affairs, George Washington University, Space Policy Institute

Dr. Darren McKnight, Technical Director, Integrity Applications, Inc.

Mr. Kirk Shireman, Deputy Director, Johnson Space Center, NASA

Ms. Marcia Smith, Founder and Editor, SpacePolicyOnline.com

Moderator: Ms. Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation.

Audio Available Here

The views and opinions expressed by the speakers are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of their employers.

Last updated on May 13, 2017