With more than 750,000 pieces of dangerous debris now orbiting Earth, the urgent need for coordinated international action to ensure the long-term sustainability of spaceflight was a major finding from Europe’s largest-ever conference on space debris. This was reported toward the end of April by the European Space Agency, ESA.
In the words of Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, speaking at a press briefing at the close of the European Conference on Space Debris held in Darmstadt, Germany: ‘We require a coordinated global solution to what is, after all, a global problem that affects critical satellites delivering services to all of us.’
ESA Director General Jan Woerner appealed to space stakeholders to keep Earth’s orbital environment as clean as possible. Developing and implementing the ESA Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme as decided during ESA’s last ministerial council in 2016 will be a key factor.