We have had a fascinating week with MYP2 who this term are exploring globalisation. As a little diversion we decided to think about “globalisation” of space - something our students called “spacialisation”.
A recent article in Sky at Night magazine comments on the increasing likelihood that, within our children’s lifetimes, we are likely to encounter life beyond Earth. A return to the Moon is not far away, plans are afoot for further trips to Mars and the Starlink satellite network is already growing and causing some controversy. Globalisation on Earth has brought with it many benefits, but along the way disasters and atrocities as landscapes and indigenous societies were, and indeed continue to be, exploited or destroyed. Can we learn from our past experience on Earth as we take new steps into space, and how do we control our behaviour? Laws were drafted: the MYP 2 Space Law Act of 2020.
We compared our law with the provisions of the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 - was our legislation any more enlightened? Of course it was. The 1967 laws talk of of weaponry and nuclear experiments symptomatic of the Cold War. We find similarities - a register of launches, for example, is held by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. Both agree that there can be no sovereignty over celestial bodies and space exploration and colonisation being the remit of mankind as opposed to sovereign countries. However, it is sustainability, ecology, environmental management and respect for indigenous species (sentient and otherwise) that lie at the forefront of our students' laws. Our venture into cosmic law suggests we leave our future in the hands enlightened students with a good understanding of causes and consequences of globalisation - what a good thing we study history!