By Nancy Tannler
Speakers Julian Gresser and Ben Levi, from the Healthy Heavens Trust Initiative, recently presented the webinar, Protecting the Heavens – The Legal Implications of 5G Satellites in Space (bit.ly/ProtectingTheHeavens) as part of a series of free webinars for legal professionals, law students and the public.
During the presentation, the speakers detailed why there is an urgent need to restore balance to our satellite program. They have prepared a letter to send to Vice President Kamala Harris, the leader of the National Space Council, detailing the risk of unimpeded satellite launches.
A space rush is underway by commercial enterprises and the military to own the heavens for private gain, defense and weaponization. Since 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, 9,000 more satellites have been sent into space. Of those, 4,000 are operational, the rest just orbiting the earth or shattered by space debris.
Currently the Department of Defense Space Surveillance Network tracks over 27,000 objects larger than four inches and traveling at 15,000 mph. There are tens of thousands more smaller objects.
Astronomers and space scientists describe this as the Kessler Syndrome – a theoretical scenario of cascading collisions with enough debris to render some orbits impossible for generations to come.
Levi said, “Humankind stands at a precipice from which there will be no return.”
Over the next 10 years 80,000+ non-stationary, low orbit satellites will be launched from the US and other countries to be integrated in the 4G/5/6G industrial and military networks known as the Space Fence.
The acceleration of this space race, with little or no regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), could cause catastrophic results that will substantially affect humans and the environment. There is already concern about what it will mean to our health to have 5G wireless receptor boxes on every street corner.
There is also concern by some that this type of wireless broadband will further erode personal privacy and expand government surveillance.
The Healthy Heavens Trust Initiative is asking President Biden to halt or pause launching satellites for 180 days. This will give the administration time to explore viable, safer and less expensive optical fiber wired infrastructure. The Trust believes that space should be included in his Infrastructure Plan.
Gessler said the Space Program and the FCC are not required to follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), or the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) before approving licenses for satellites.
It is their belief that the FCC and other federal agencies need to follow established principles and procedures recognized by international treaty, the US Constitution, federal statues, state laws and local ordinances before moving ahead and allowing the blanket license for seven million earth stations and the launching of 50,000-100,000 satellites to accommodate 5G/wireless infrastructures over the next several years.
The mantra that the heavens must belong to no one is not true. Already there are numerous international treaties, conventions and other legally enforceable commitments that space is held in a public trust for everyone in the world. The people are the shareholders of this public trust.
Levi, Gessler and other members of the Healthy Heavens Initiative are asking the US government to take a balanced approach as to how we increase the 5G broadband width.
This would require the need to collaborate with other governments worldwide to create a unified protocol.
They believe that fiber optics are a viable option that is safe, readily available and inexpensive. By including it in Biden’s Infrastructure Plan, they feel the US would be doing our part to protect the heavens.
For more information on the Healthy Heaven Trust Initiative, visit healthyheavenstrust.org.
Their petition for emergency, expedited rulemaking can be found at fcc.gov/ecfs/filing/10311787916086.