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The current U.S. law is applicable to all individuals, universities and private companies that are planning to launch big or small remote sensing satellites.
Liability under international space law: There are mainly two international space law treaties that directly apply to the cases of liability for damage occurring during the conduct of space activities, including the launching and operation of small satellite(s); i.e. the 1967 Outer Space Treaty and the 1972 Liability Convention.
However, it is possible that small entities, universities or small countries may not be aware of the applicable international or national regulatory requirements, potential liability risks or possible insurance coverage or may consider the cost of insurance might be more expansive than that of the satellite itself.
The lowest orbit is 160km. I guess the only way to cross that distance would be either a rocket or to have a huge lightweight propellor to push against the thin air