Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Michael S. Dodge
It has been said that the space environment is becoming so accessible, we are at risk of depleting it as a resource, thereby risking society’s space-dependent functions. Law, regulations, policies, and guidelines exist to guide entities to act to preserve the space environment. However, best space traffic management (STM) practice implementation and regulatory compliance could be costly and resource-intensive, especially for a small business. Some entities may not undertake innovative space endeavors at all, or worse, ignore laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines. A question arises of how space actors could be persuaded to work toward meeting STM laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines and perhaps take on potentially costly practices to follow them. This thesis attempts to answer whether liability apportionment and risk-pooling through a space protection and indemnity (P&I) club membership could benefit a space actor enough to drive implementation of best space traffic management practices where actors could be more likely to adhere to laws, regulations, policies, and guidelines.
The study is limited to one example model space P&I club in the U.S. as a foundation for a potential larger international group in the future. The study assumes both insurance and P&I calls can be based on publicly available financial information, though need for more detailed information on insurance premiums and P&I calls is needed to create a fine-tuned model. The study also assumes a potential space P&I club member would be subject to U.S. law, regulations, and policy. Methods include document and policy analysis, interviews with space insurance and risk management subject matter experts, and cost analyses. Arguably, a case does indeed exist wherein a potential space P&I club membership could benefit a space actor enough to encourage implementation of best space traffic management practices. However, it would be best used as part of the bigger STM picture alongside existing regulations and policies. Still, a P&I club membership could provide a significant enough benefit where actors could be more likely to adhere to regulations and policies, which would, in turn, have a positive impact on keeping the space environment sustainable for current and future activities.
Finnigan, Cristin M., "P&I Club Membership As Potential Incentivization For Adherence To Best Space Traffic Management Practices: A Maritime Analogue" (2022). Theses and Dissertations. 4258.