International Space Debris Committee Meets in Prague


An annual meeting of the International Space Debris Committee took place at the International Astronautical Congress 2010 in Prague. Russia is represented in the Committee by Yury Makarov, Head of Roscosmos Division.

“The International Committee which meets annually comprises 4 working groups. Each group also hold their meetings to discuss different relevant topics, including debris monitoring, avoidance, prediction of hazardous situations, etc. Then, the groups report to the Control Board of the Committee,” Makarov explains.

According to him, the agenda of the meeting covers 15 topics, including review of several documents.

“The Committee is established to achieve consolidated efforts to reduce industrial space debris threat. Full agreement is the main principle of the Committee. This means no voting, any decision is made with full consent of each member. After that, the decision is to be implemented by the countries involved in the Committee,” Roscosmos representative said.

He added that some important issues had been discussed, including results of the de-orbiting tests for the third stage of Russian rocket Vostok.

The meeting of the International Space Debris Committee was attended by representatives of Russia, the USA, UK, Italy, France, China, Germany, Japan, Ukraine and countries of the European Space Agencies.

“The more vehicles is launched by a country, the more debris it puts into orbit. Still, you have to keep in mind that that not only launchers provide debris, but the spacecraft as well. The orbital debris belong not only to Russia and US; China’s portion is currently growing,” Makarov noted.

He stated that any country which starts active space exploration, becomes a potential space debris supplier.

“Unfortunately, more debris appeared in LEO within last year,” Roscosmos representative concluded.