The astronomical community is now calling for new regulations to restrict the number of satellites that can be launched as part of the coming wave of new commercial constellations due to a fear these satellites will interfere with their observations.
Not surprising to me, it is the International Astronomical Union (IAU) that is taking the lead here.
The IAU statement urges satellite designers and policymakers to take a closer look at the potential impacts of satellite constellations on astronomy and how to mitigate them.
“We also urge appropriate agencies to devise a regulatory framework to mitigate or eliminate the detrimental impacts on scientific exploration as soon as practical,” the statement says. “We strongly recommend that all stakeholders in this new and largely unregulated frontier of space utilisation work collaboratively to their mutual advantage.”
When it comes to naming objects in space, the IAU likes to tell everyone else what to do. That top-down approach is now reflected in its demand that these commercial enterprises, with the potential to increase the wealth and knowledge of every human on Earth, be shut down.
The astronomy community has a solution, one that it has been avoiding since they launched Hubble in 1990, and that is to build more space-telescopes. Such telescopes would not only leap-frog the commercial constellations, it would routinely get them better results, far better than anything they get on Earth.
But no, they’d rather squelch the efforts of everyone else so they can maintain the status quo. They should be ashamed.