Experts Say Much More Required to Avoid Satellite Collisions, Space Debris

Space debris

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Senate and House committees held hearings on consecutive days last week about space situational awareness (SSA) and space traffic management (STM), i.e., the ability to accurately track objects in Earth orbit and to avoid dangerous collisions that could knock out satellites and even render entire orbits unusable.

The overall conclusion was that, although progress is being made, we’re not nearly as aware as we need to be as orbital debris poses an ever bigger problem and companies prepare to launch tens of thousands of new satellites.

“Near Earth space is geo-politically contested, it’s commercially contested and it’s in dire need of environmental protection because it is a finite resource,” said Moriba Jah, an associate professor of astronautics at the University of Texas.

(more…)

CSA Joins in Space Debris Group

CSA PRESS RELEASE
Nov. 24, 2010

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has been accepted as a full member of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). This committee is an international governmental forum for the worldwide coordination of activities related to the issues of man-made and natural debris in space.

The primary purposes of the IADC are to exchange information on space debris research activities between member space agencies, to facilitate opportunities for cooperation in space debris research, to review the progress of ongoing cooperative activities, and to identify debris mitigation options. Being a member of this committee will provide the CSA with access to the latest research and activities related to space debris issues by the international members of the committee in order to mitigate and minimize potential threats to Canadian satellites and other space assets.  It will also permit a strengthening of Canadian research activities into space debris related activities through enhanced cooperation with international partners.

(more…)