Falling satellites are an unavoidable hazard of space exploration: at the current level of technology, a certain number of satellites will inevitably fall out of orbit. Nevertheless, the traditional sources of international law provide little help in determining what norms would govern a situation in which a falling satellite causes injury. The 1978 crash of the U.S.S.R.'s Cosmos 954 satellite has shed some light on the normative expectations of states concerning satellite accidents.
Alexander F. Cohen,
Cosmos 954 and the International Law of Satellite Accidents,
Yale J. Int'l L.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yjil/vol10/iss1/7