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Debris in Earth’s Orbit can be Hazardous; Urgent Need to Clear it: ESA

6th European Conference on Space Debris concluded in Germany with an announcement that the Space Junk should be removed from the orbit of the Earth.

Apr 26, 2013 11:19 IST
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The European Space Agency (ESA) on 25 April 2013 during the 6th European Conference on Space Debris in Darmstadt, Germany announced that the Space Junk such as the debris of rockets should be removed from the orbit of the Earth. The announcement was made to avoid potential catastrophic collisions with operational spacecrafts and satellites that would cost a loss of millions of Euros for satellite operators as well as knock out GPS and Mobile network.

The Agency said that the quantity of debris in the space environment is close to a situation of collision, which will make space hazardous. The agency made it clear that there is an urgent need of pulling out the redundant objects out from the sky.

As per the present estimates from scientists, there exist nearly 30000 items of size more than 10 cm that circles the Earth at average speeds of 25000 kp0068. Many of the circling particles are complete rocket bodies and satellites and many are fragments. The debris in the orbit is the result of the explosion of the fuel tanks and batteries as well as from the impact of high-velocities between the objects. Debris with size 10 cm and above are traceable by the radars but the one smaller than it move unseen in the orbit, which would result in catastrophic collision among these materials.

The researchers agreed to the point that the debris-environment in the orbit would become unstable within few decades and this phenomenon is called Kessler Syndrome. Removal of five to ten large debris, every year can be the solution to reverse the process of debris growth in the orbit. European Space Agency in 2012 launched Clean Space initiative that aims at developing the technology to capture and remove space debris safely.

Prof Heiner Klinkrad was the chairman for the 6th European Conference on Space Debris in Darmstadt, Germany.

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