An Astro-Green Criminological Examination of Orbital Space Debris

Jack Lampkin, Tanya Wyatt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)


The aims of this study were to (1) highlight the importance of orbital debris as an environmental and green criminological issue, (2) build on recent work in astro-green criminology and (3) analyse orbital debris from an astro-green perspective with a focus on social and ecological harms consistent with green-critical criminologies. Human-made active and defunct debris continues to accumulate in Earth orbit littering near-Earth orbital space. There are a small number of key drivers, including accidental collisions between objects, in-orbit explosions and anti-satellite missile testing. Such activities pollute Earth orbit causing problems for astronomy, space travel and human and non-human populations on Earth. This is a theoretical, literature-based analysis of orbital debris from an astro-green criminological perspective. Criminology has had little to say about space debris because its creation is not a criminal offence. This article makes a unique contribution to criminological literature by applying the emerging perspective of astro-green criminology to orbital debris.

Original languageEnglish
Article number174889582311691
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date20 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Apr 2023

Cite this