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Debate: Should International Law Reach into Space?

As powerful countries continue to launch satellites into space, a new frontier has opened. Some say it is like the Wild West – unregulated and potentially dangerous. Countries including China, Russia, and the U.S. compete for supremacy, sometimes targeting each other’s satellites. Space junk – thousands of pieces of orbital debris hurtling through space at high speed – can also damage these satellites, which are used for scientific research, telecommunications, and military operations. Some suggest that creating international laws governing space would bring order to a lawless frontier. Others argue that space is beyond the realm of earthly politics and favor an approach of every nation or company for itself. Listen to learn about the military uses of satellites and then debate: Should international law reach into space?


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Story Length: 4:22

Listen to the Story:

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • What was one of Malala Yousafzai’s first experiences with the dangers of religious extremism?
  • After miraculously surviving her attack, what has Malala focused her work on?
  • What is the message that Malala is trying to send to those in power?
  • What does Malala want to do in the future?
  • What are the goals of Malala’s mission to support girls?

Discussion Themes

  • What is your opinion on Malala’s message about the power of education?
  • Why do you think that ISIS might want to silence people like Malala?

Socrative users can import these questions using the following code: SOC-1234