ESA DG Josef Aschbacher states: ”I have been in contact with ESA astronaut Matthias Maurer to assure him of all my support during and after these tense hours in orbit after the recent space debris situation.”

”Space debris have increasingly raised a general risk to all operating satellites in orbit. The intentional generation of space debris is significantly and irresponsibly endangering critical space-based services that Europe and the world rely on to save lives and to provide critical services for our present and future well-being. An increase in Space Debris cause unacceptable risks to our ESA astronauts and international teammates working on critical research on board the International Space Station, to the Chinese astronauts on board the Chinese Space Station and to any future space stations to be assembled in Low Earth Orbit.

It is vital to immediately use an appropriate mechanism to secure a free, responsible, and safe access to space for all. As Director General of ESA, I am fully committed, in this context, to contribute to a globally acceptable solution and to support the actions of ESA Member States in the United Nations to guarantee the long-term sustainability of outer space.

I shall now focus on working with ESA Member States to ensure continued safe space operations.”