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GERMANY 22-26 Apr 2013 ESA hosts 6th European Conference on Space Debris
The European Space Agency hosts the 6th European Conference on Space Debris at its Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. The qu

April 22, 2013 - NULL

GERMANY 22-26 Apr 2013 ESA hosts 6th European Conference on Space Debris
The European Space Agency hosts the 6th European Conference on Space Debris at its Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. The quadrennial event is described as the world's largest forum on the problem of man-made debris in orbit. Some 200 experts from space agencies, industry and academia will work on debris policy, detection, mitigation and risk control. Developments in the field include a projected Russian system for detecting and removing large fragments from orbit and a European surveillance radar system for fine-tuning detection. The debris is seen

GERMANY 22-26 Apr 2013 ESA hosts 6th European Conference on Space Debris
The European Space Agency hosts the 6th European Conference on Space Debris at its Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt. The quadrennial event is described as the world's largest forum on the problem of man-made debris in orbit. Some 200 experts from space agencies, industry and academia will work on debris policy, detection, mitigation and risk control. Developments in the field include a projected Russian system for detecting and removing large fragments from orbit and a European surveillance radar system for fine-tuning detection. The debris is seen as a potential barrier, literally, to outer space missions and to the use of the commercially-valuable low-Earth orbit (LEO) and geosynchronous orbital (GEO) zones.

The debris has continued to accumulate with the expansion of the commercial and scientific uses of Space. The ESA notes that early debris detection is crucial to help warn satellite operators of collision risks and enable them to arrange avoidance maneuvers. A discarded chunk of Russian rocket came close enough to the International Space Station on 12 Mar 2012 to force six astronauts to seek shelter in escape capsules. It was noticed too late to move the ISS out of the way. Similar incidents occurred in 2009 and 2011.

The United States Air Force Space Command is tracking some 22,000 pieces of the man-made debris, mostly chunks over 4 inches in length, and there are supposedly hundreds of thousands of smaller bits. According to scientists, anything larger than a baseball poses a potentially deadly threat to the ISS.

Russia's space agency Roscosmos has announced a plan to develop a system to remove hazardous debris from orbit, and the ESA and France's ONERA research center have signed a US $5.1 million contract with five industrial partners in France, Spain and Switzerland to design and test the new surveillance radar system. (WRITTEN SEP 2012)

RELATED READING:
System will seek orbiting space debris (UPI 12 Sep 2012)
http://www.upi.com/Science_News/Technology/2012/09/12/System-will-seek-orbiting-space-debris/UPI-85081347478951/

Russia to Develop Space Debris Removal System (RIA Novosti 12 Sep 2012)
http://en.ria.ru/russia/20120912/175923000.html

Europe's largest space debris conference kicks off (ESA 5 Mar 2009)
http://www.esa.int/esaMI/Space_Debris/SEMIHQKTYRF_0.html

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Date written/update: 2013-04-22