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Topic 1

Political and Legal Framework

We are living in a space society 

When humans go to space, it’s not because it is easy but because they choose to. The very recent foray of humans in space is only 63 years old and was born in the cold conflict of ideologies. As such, politics and policies have always been linked to space ventures. However, recent years have seen the rise of many more diversified actors such as small businesses with smaller and more commercially competitive satellites. At the same time, state actors have taken a stronger stance on acknowledging space as a new field of operation as the Americans made clear with the inauguration of a “Space Force” or France with a new Space Command. Seen as a new Far West by some, regulations and laws in space are, at best, loose and at worst, nonexistent. The new paradigm of a closer, unclaimed and more accessible space environment calls for new policies that would prevent the uncontrolled consequences stemming from the massive arrival of new actors. With an orbit plane that gets more and more crowded every day, 21st century Earth is at a key turning point and we must decide what we want the future to look like. Because if we do indeed choose to go to space, we must do it well. And it will be hard.            


  • Space Traffic Management: Paving the Way or Establishing Dominance?  

  • WRC 2019: New Radiofrequencies Management for Short Duration Missions

  • Recognition of Space as an Operational Domain 

  • Overcrowding the Orbit: Which Impact for Astronomical Observation?

Recorded Topic 1 Presentations


Sarah Moens

Lead lawyer at DLA Piper

Sarah Moens is a lead lawyer at DLA Piper in Brussels and has expertise in public and administrative law, with a particular interest in litigation matters and public procurement. Furthermore, she is experienced in space law and drones law. She is a Board Member of the European Centre for Space Law and an elected member of the International Institute of Space Law. Sarah also guves guest lectures on drones law and space law at various universities such as Université Paris-Sud XI (Paris, France), Universiteit Leiden (Leiden, The Netherlands), Universiteit Gent (Ghent, Belgium) and during specialized summer courses. Furthermore, she is a speaker at national and international conferences. She is author of legal articles on drones law and space law.

Space Traffic Management - Paving the Way or Establishing Dominance?  

Ward Munters

Assistant Coordinator Space Law, Policy, Business and Management, Master of Space Studies, KU Leuven, Belgium

Ward is a doctoral researcher and teaching assistant in public international law at the Institute for International Law and Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies at the KU Leuven, Belgium. He is an assistant coordinator for Space Law, Policy, Business and Management in the Master of Space Studies, an advanced master’s programme organised co-jointly by the KU Leuven and the University of Ghent. Ward focuses on space debris, space object collisions and space traffic management. His research aims to uncover fruitful theoretical perspectives on orbital space law at the nexus between age-old terrestrial legal logic and astronautical reality of orbital space.

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Overcrowding the Orbit: Which Impact for Astronomical Observation?  

Andrew Williams

External Relations, Executive Office of the Director-General

Dr Andrew Williams is External Relations Officer at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) - an intergovernmental organisation of 16 Member States that constructs and operates world-leading astronomical facilities and fosters international cooperation. Andrew supports strategic relationships with current and future Member States, the EU, and international organisations such as the UN. Prior to ESO he worked as senior policy advisor for NATO and as a physicist for the UK government. He holds degrees in physics and public policy.

The next war will reach Space. Why defending the peaceful use of outer space has never been so relevant for NATO, for Europe and for Belgium.


Nicolas Gérôme

Head of Space-based Capabilities at Belgian Defense

Since 2018: Space-based Capabilities @ Strategy Department (BE MoD)
2016-2018: Network architect for territorial & deployed Networks (BE MoD)
2013-2016: Business Development Defense & Intelligence sector (Luciad NV)
2008-2013: Program Manager for Geospatial & Imagery Intelligence Systems (BE MoD)
2004-2008: Flight Electronics & Project manager Classified Networks (BE MoD)Studies
Advanced Staff Course (Defence College) & post-graduates in applied geomatics, big data analytics & space mission design
Royal Military Academy Brussels, telecom engineer

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WRC 2019: New Radiofrequencies Management for Short Duration Missions


Michael Vandroogenbroek

Strategic cell – Scarce Resources IBPT

I am an engineer with almost 25 years’ experience within BIPT. BIPT is the regulatory body responsible for regulating the electronic communications market, the postal market, and the electromagnetic spectrum of radio frequencies.

I am currently responsible for the spectrum strategy and the authorizations of public mobile operators.

I have been Deputy Head of the Belgian Delegation at world radiocommunication conferences since 1997.



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