As the number and intensity of space activities increase, so will the need for rules on Space Traffic Management (STM). Emerging technologies such as mega-constellations, which are satellite constellations consisting of hundreds or even thousands of satellites, may stretch the limits of the current informal coordination system. The goal of this essay is to discuss the critical elements of a system of STM that would, through standardization, establish trust in the resulting system. The standardization elements will be divided into three categories: data standards, processing standards, and legal standards. I argue that a system of STM requires standardized practices that are based on a strong technical foundation in order to enhance trust among space actors. After discussing the types of standards that are needed for STM, I turn to possible paths for achieving a globally effective STM system.
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