"We are now witnessing an extraordinary event, the first of the 21st century, the MIR space station's plunge to Earth, producing of course impressive fireworks, but also a massive amount of debris." The first launchings created the first space debris. Space debris is the immediate, logical consequence of the exploration and use of outer space (around the Earth) involving manmade objects. This situation will persist, making launching, exploration and use increasingly difficult and risky - unless we turn to the type of rocket dreamt up by Hergé for Tintin's trips to the Moon. Worldwide concern has been expressed in particular in the Vienna Space Millennium Declaration adopted at the Unispace Conference in Vienna in July 1999, with the contributions of the Space Law Workshop organised by the International Institute of Space Law (session eight).