On 20 April 2021, ESA will host the 8th European Conference on Space Debris from Darmstadt, in Germany. Scientists, engineers, industry experts and policy makers will spend the virtual four day conference discussing the latest issues surrounding space debris. They will exchange the latest research, try to come up with solutions for potential problems and define the future direction of any necessary action.
There are currently over 129 million objects larger than a millimetre in orbits around Earth. These range from inactive satellites to flakes of paint. But no matter how small the item of debris, anything travelling up to 56,000 km/h in an orbit is dangerous if it comes into contact with the many satellites that connect us around the world, be it for GPS, mobile phone data or internet connectivity. The solution is to take action before it’s too late. This is why ESA has commissioned ClearSpace-1 – the world’s first mission to remove space debris – for launch in 2025.
This film contains interviews with ESA Head of Space Debris Office Tim Flohrer; ESA Head of Clean Space Office Luisa Innocenti; and Xanthi Oikonomidou, ESA Space Debris Office.