Fifth European Conference on Space Debris to address key issues

Debris objects - mostly debris - in low Earth orbit (LEO) - view over the equator
25 March 2009

ESA PR 07-2009. The European Space Agency will host the 5th European Conference on Space Debris at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany, from 30 March to 2 April.

The conference, which is the largest dedicated event on space debris issues, 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.

ESA Space Debris Office: Trackable objects in Earth orbit
Trackable objects in orbit around Earth

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 organisations, 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).

On 2 April a press briefing will be held with an international panel of debris experts.

Details about the conference can be found at: www.esa.int/debris

Members of the media are welcome to attend the 5th European Conference on Space Debris. Please register using the attached fax accreditation form.

Interview opportunities on Monday 30 March from 12:30 – 13:45. Press briefing and round table discussion, with questions & answers, on Thursday 2 April from 14:00 – 15:00 (with further opportunities for one-on-one interviews thereafter).

Web streaming of the press briefing of 2 April will be available on www.esa.int/debris

For more information and interview opportunities, please contact:

Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin
Head of the Corporate Communication Office
ESA/ESOC
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 5
64293 Darmstadt, Germany
Tel: +49-6151-90-2516
E-mail: jlc @ esa.int
www.esa.int/esoc

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