The European Space Agency hosts the 5th European Conference on Space Debris at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, from March 30 - April 2, which is the largest dedicated event on space debris issues. The conference is co-sponsored by the British, French, German and Italian space agencies (BNSC, CNES, DLR, ASI), the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and is expected to gather more than 200 leading experts from all over the world.
Space debris has recently been attracting increasing attention not only due to the growing recognition of the long-term need to protect the commercially valuable low-Earth and geosynchronous orbital zones (LEO and GEO), but also due to the direct threat that existing debris poses to current and future missions. While commercial and scientific uses of space have expanded across a wide range of activities, including telecommunications, weather, navigation, Earth observation and science, space debris has continued to accumulate, significantly threatening current and future missions.
Speakers at the conference will present results from research on space debris, assist in defining future directions for research, consolidate debris environment models, identify methods of debris mitigation and remediation, assess debris-related risks and their control, devise protective measures, and discuss policy issues, regulations and legal aspects.
The conference will also promote the ongoing discussions taking place in a number of organizations, including the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).