Frontiers of Space Risk: Natural Cosmic Hazards & Societal Challenges

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Richard J. Wilman, Christopher J. Newman
CRC Press, Jun 13, 2018 - Science - 297 pages

CHOICE Recommended Title, March 2019

This book brings together diverse new perspectives on current and emerging themes in space risk, covering both the threats to Earth-based activities arising from space events (natural and man-made), and those inherent in space activity itself. Drawing on the latest research, the opening chapters explore the dangers from asteroids and comets; the impact of space weather on critical technological infrastructure on the ground and in space; and the more uncertain threats posed by rare hazards further afield in the Milky Way.

Contributors from a wide range of disciplines explore the nature of these risks and the appropriate engineering, financial, legal, and policy solutions to mitigate them. The coverage also includes an overview of the space insurance market; engineering and policy perspectives on space debris and the sustainability of the space environment. The discussion then examines the emerging threats from terrorist activity in space, a recognition that space is a domain of war, and the challenges to international cooperation in space governance from the nascent asteroid mining industry.


  • Discusses developments and risks relevant to the public and private sectors as access to the space environment expands
  • Offers an interdisciplinary approach blending science, technology, and policy
  • Presents a high-level international focus, with contributions from academics, policy makers, and commercial space consultants


Asteroid and Cometary Impact Hazards
The Sun as a Natural Hazard
Galactic Perspectives
Risk and Mitigation
Commercial Space Risks Spacecraft Insurance
Space Sustainability
Space Activity and the Nascent Risk
Reconciling the Past Present and Future

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About the author (2018)

Richard J. Wilman is Assistant Professor (Teaching) at Durham University, UK. He obtained a PhD in astrophysics from Cambridge University, followed by research posts in the UK, The Netherlands, and Australia.

Christopher J. Newman is Professor of Space Law and Policy at Northumbria University, UK. He has a PhD in cross-comparative constitutional law and has been active in the teaching and research of Space Law for several years.

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