(Delivered by Daniel Porras (Director of Space Sustainability Policy), 25 January 2023)
Thank you, Mr. Chair, for speaking with us today. As this is the first time Rogue Space Systems has participated in a UN event, we would like to commend you, UNIDIR, and UNODA for your efforts at engaging with non-governmental stakeholders from around the world. As a commercial company, Rogue’s values are strongly aligned with the collective efforts to seek a normative framework for sustainable novel space activities. Rogue believes good stewardship in space activities are critical to building trust and mutual dialogue on these important issues. Rogue therefore would like to express our commitment to being good partners with our governmental, industry, and civil-society colleagues in building a vibrant, sustainable space economy that benefits people all over the world. To see such an economy emerge, we agree with our colleagues that some form of international normative framework is needed, one which guarantees free access to space and respects the safety and security of all stakeholders.
Rogue Space Systems Corporation hopes to play a key role in the space economy of tomorrow. Our company is developing a fleet of orbital robots, which we affectionately refer to as “Orbots”. These Orbots will be capable of completing a variety of tasks that will be critical in realizing the next generation of space activities. These include on-orbit manufacturing, debris removal and in-space domain awareness. Our Orbots will be able to make close-approach inspections, contactless manipulation and long-range observations. It is our hope that our fleet will play the role of fork lifts, tow trucks and garbage disposal of the future.
Mr. Chair, for this meeting, you asked us to reflect on what we consider to be the most significant threats to space activities. At present, we believe that the lack of trust among geopolitical rivals is the greatest threat to reaching the next era of space activities that we imagine. Many of the tools and technologies needed to ensure the long-term sustainability of human space activities are of a dual-use, or more precisely a multi-use, nature. In recent years, the emergence of certain capabilities such as on-orbit observation and close approaches introduced new sources of tension among geopolitical rivals. Yet these capabilities will also provide the necessary means to achieve a truly sustainable space eco-system that benefits people around the world.
Mr. Chair, in this context, Rogue applauds the OEWG for examining norms of responsible behavior and best practices. Such norms can set the right expectations for communicating the intent and use of dual-use/multi-use technologies, thereby avoiding misunderstandings or miscalculations among space actors. We hope to work with our governmental and non-governmental colleagues to develop and adopt norms that will facilitate the dream we all have for a brighter, more peaceful future in space. In particular, we believe that norms around sharing data and information are an excellent way to encourage transparency among all space actors.
Mr. Chair, Rogue believes that industry, as a major space stakeholder, has not only a role but a duty to ensure that our activities do not create new sources of tension among anyone, and that we avoid any misunderstandings about our activities. That is why Rogue has appointed a Director of Space Sustainability Policy, to ensure that our company is in compliance with best practices wherever possible, and to work with the international community to further develop and refine norms for the future. Consider this as our way of demonstrating our commitment to the work that you all do here today.
Mr. Chair, Rogue commends your excellent leadership throughout this OEWG process, and it applauds UNIDIR and UNODA for including industry in these paramount discussions. We stand ready to work with you and all UN Member States.