La disparition du ciel

Il y a quelques mois, un astronaute américain a par inadvertance lâché un outil en orbite, éveillant les craintes que cet objet potentiellement dangereux lancé à grande vitesse à travers l’espace puisse détruire un satellite, voire menacer des vies dans la haute atmosphère. Peu de temps après, la Chine a fait exploser l’un de ses satellites, multipliant ainsi par deux le nombre de débris en orbite, dangereux parce que trop petits pour être détectés.

Une fois de plus, le monde prenait conscience de l’étrange situation régissant les cieux. L’atmosphère est un domaine unique, insuffisamment réglementé. La mondialisation de la pollution et des technologies implique de remédier à cette situation de toute urgence.

Dans la plupart des cas, la réglementation du ciel reflète celle des océans. Le domaine maritime appartient à tous, à l’exception des eaux territoriales, qui sont administrées de manière analogue aux frontières terrestres. En conséquence, l’espace est conceptualisé sous forme de circulation. Les avions de ligne et militaires évoluent dans un espace aérien « contrôlé » proche du sol, et l’importance de la nationalité souveraine semble diminuer au fur et à mesure qu’on s’élève. Les rares traités sur cette question sont principalement respectés parce que seul un nombre limité de nations ont les moyens de placer des engins en haute altitude.

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