Where Does Space Start? Border Issue and Legal View

The subcommittee of the UNCOPUOS (United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space), which was formed by the UN, directly addressed the issue for the first time in its session in 1967.
Within UNCOPUOS, to date, many views have been discussed during the sessions and even it has been argued that it is unnecessary to set a limit. However, no result has yet been reached; it has even been proposed to remove the issue from the agenda of the Legal Subcommittee from time to time.
The point of debate here is the following: Every country has its own "airspace" and domination in this airspace is entirely in the hands of that country. Aircraft belonging to another country cannot violate this area. It is a matter of discussion how many kilometers this airspace continues up to. So, if an airplane that passes 10 km high violates the airspace, is a vehicle passing 100 km high also considered a violation?

In accordance with the spirit of the 60's, the most concrete and persistent suggestions were offered by the Soviet Union. According to these recommendations, a height of 100-110 km from the sea level should be determined as the boundary between the airspace and the space. In addition, within the scope of these suggestions, it was also argued that the right of space objects to "continue" (SHALL RETAIN) through the foreign countries at the altitude below the agreed border to reach orbit or return to earth.

In many respects, many scientists, lawyers, institutions, units and the state have been suggesting various views on different platforms for defining and limiting what space is and the boundary between space and space.

In addition to some altitudes to separate the airspace and space;
• The point at which the effect of gravity ends (the effect is not significant),
• The upper limit of the atmosphere or the various layers of the atmosphere,
• Limit accessible by effective control of the underlying state,
• The point where the artificial satellites in orbit are closest to the earth,
• “Von Karman line”,
• The point where the air resistance ends,
• Criteria such as the upper limit to which flight can be conducted have been proposed.

Particularly with the onset of the space age, the views addressing the issue are gathered under two main headings:

1. SAHACI (Spatialist; Territorialist) Approach
2. FUNCTIONALIST (Functionalist) Approach
It is a definite distinction between the airspace and the space within the framework of the argument defended in the field-based approach.
According to those who advocate the field-based approach, the determination of a precise boundary is necessary to clearly and clearly limit the areas in which air law and space law, which differ significantly from each other, can be applied, to define the upper limit of the sovereignty of states, to protect the security of the national airspace and to prevent conflicts between states.

According to the functionalist approach, it is not necessary to draw a precise boundary between the airspace and space, since space can only be organized on the basis of the qualities of activities and space objects.
Advocates of the functionalist approach say that a definite limit is drawn on this issue, it is not necessary and feasible, and it is likely that certain legal problems may arise.
Robert Goedhart, who has done one of the most comprehensive studies on the subject, stated that the following has been suggested against the determination of a definite boundary between airspace and space:

1) Due to the absence of the border, no major issue has arisen so far.
2) The restriction attempt may lead some states to make excessive national demands.
3) If the limit is detected too high, some space activities may be inhibited.
4) The detection of a low border will increase states' concerns about their interests, such as security.
5) Once a limit is set, it will become very difficult to change later.
6) A precise boundary can lead to disputes over whether space objects violate boundaries.

Today, the space boundary is approximately 100 km from the Earth's surface. The view that it should start above is becoming widespread. 100 km in Australia's legislation on space activities. The altitude altitude will be taken as reference for space, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration –FAA- is awarded the ASTRONOT badge for those attending flights above 50 miles (approx. 80 km.).


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