Frontiers of Space Risk : Natural Cosmic Hazards & Societal Challenges book cover
1st Edition

Frontiers of Space Risk
Natural Cosmic Hazards & Societal Challenges

ISBN 9780367571436
Published June 30, 2020 by CRC Press
298 Pages

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Book Description

CHOICE Recommended Title, March 2019

This book brings together diverse new perspectives on current and emerging themes in space risk, covering both the threats to Earth-based activities arising from space events (natural and man-made), and those inherent in space activity itself. Drawing on the latest research, the opening chapters explore the dangers from asteroids and comets; the impact of space weather on critical technological infrastructure on the ground and in space; and the more uncertain threats posed by rare hazards further afield in the Milky Way.

Contributors from a wide range of disciplines explore the nature of these risks and the appropriate engineering, financial, legal, and policy solutions to mitigate them. The coverage also includes an overview of the space insurance market; engineering and policy perspectives on space debris and the sustainability of the space environment. The discussion then examines the emerging threats from terrorist activity in space, a recognition that space is a domain of war, and the challenges to international cooperation in space governance from the nascent asteroid mining industry.


  • Discusses developments and risks relevant to the public and private sectors as access to the space environment expands

  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach blending science, technology, and policy

  • Presents a high-level international focus, with contributions from academics, policy makers, and commercial space consultants

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction. Chapter 2. Asteroid and Cometary Impact Hazards. Chapter 3. Space Weather – the Sun as a natural hazard. Chapter 4. Hazards & Habitability: Galactic Perspectives. Chapter 5. Space Debris: Risk and Mitigation. Chapter 6. Commercial Space Risks, Spacecraft Insurance and the Fragile Frontier. Chapter 7. Space Sustainability. Chapter 8. Space Activity and the Nascent Risk of Terrorism. Chapter 9. Reconciling the Past, Present and Future of National Security, Military Activity and Space Law. Chapter 10. Managing the Resource Revolution: Space Law in the New Space Age.

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Richard J. Wilman is Assistant Professor (Teaching) at Durham University, UK. He obtained a PhD in astrophysics from Cambridge University, followed by research posts in the UK, The Netherlands, and Australia.

Christopher J. Newman is Professor of Space Law and Policy at Northumbria University, UK. He has a PhD in cross-comparative constitutional law and has been active in the teaching and research of Space Law for several years.