While we trust our aerospace-scientists to know their business, there is still a teensy bit of possibility, which even NASA keeps in mind before launching things into the outer space: a chunk or the entire satellite may fall on earth. Though there are tough chances of a satellite or its chunk falling over your roof and crushing it, you may still wonder what you should do if the accident happens. Do you keep the space junk with yourself and sell it to repair your house? Luckily, you would not have to do that because NASA will take care of the bills for you.
The U.N. Office for Outer Space Affairs has formed a legal framework called the Outer Space Treaty(or the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies) which includes provisions for public damage by the state governed space programs.
One of the core principles of the Treaty is that the State shall be responsible for damage caused by their space objects. The term “damage” here is defined as “loss of life, personal injury or other impairment of health; or loss of or damage to property of states or of persons, natural or juridical, or property of international intergovernmental organizations.”
This means that the judicial system will return the amount, ensuring that the loss or damage of and to anything is reimbursed, and the original state reestablished.
Hence, if on a bad day, a satellite falls over your head, you have to present your claim within one year of the crash. The state will take back its space metal and gives you compensation. Not like you can sell the scrap anyway because there are strict provisions about ownership and illegal selling of that debris and chunk.
Pray that a spacial object never falls in your backyard. But you know what to do if it happens, right? That is, not recycling it into an RV but making NASA pay.
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