Debris objects in low-Earth orbit (LEO)

Calling university students: participate in the Space Debris Training Course 2019

13/02/2019 4969 views 12 likes
ESA / Education / ESA Academy

Space debris is a hazard to our satellites and spacecraft as well as a contributor to near-Earth space pollution. To help raise awareness of this issue, ESA’s Education Office is organising the second edition of the ESA Academy’s Space Debris Training Course. 

The Space Debris Training Course will be hosted at the ESA Academy's Training & Learning Facility in ESEC-Galaxia, Transinne, Belgium, from 13 to 17 May 2019. University students will be provided with an introduction to the concept of space debris, why it is necessary to address this problem, and how the mitigation policies set by ESA apply to missions. Participants will not only learn about the space debris environment and mitigation technologies, but also about how it impacts spacecraft operations and potential future solutions. Taught by ESA experts mainly from ESA’s Space Debris Office, as well as external experts from the sector, the course will be delivered through formal technical lectures complemented with hands-on exercises based on a real-life case study. 

Students participating to the Space Debris Training Course 2018
Students participating to the Space Debris Training Course 2018

This training course is a collaboration between ESA’s Education Office and ESA’s Space Debris Office, which coordinates ESA's research activities in all major debris disciplines. These include measurements, modelling, protection, and mitigation. It also implements the space surveillance segment of the Agency’s SSA program, operates ESA’s collision avoidance system for a fleet of 20 spacecraft, and represents ESA at international bodies on space debris matters such as the IADC (Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee) and UNCOPUOS (United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space). 

Preliminary schedule:

Day 1: The Environment Introduction
Forces acting on a space object
Space Debris Environment
Mitigations Principles and Guidelines
Day 2: Mitigation Legal Environment
The Future of the Environment
Mitigation Context and Technology
Day 3: Operations Space Surveillance
Collision Avoidance
Operations in the Space Debris Environment
Protection and Shielding
Day 4: Re-entry Aerothermodynamics
Atmospheric Break-up
On-ground Risks
Visit of ESEC-Redu
Day 5: The Future Design for Demise
Active Removal

Upon completion of the training course students will be evaluated via an online questionnaire and will receive a certificate of participation and a course transcript, allowing them to claim ECTS credit(s) from their respective universities.

Who can apply?

In order to participate, students must fulfil the following eligibility criteria at the time of application:

  • be aged between 18 and 32;
  • be a citizen of an ESA Member State,Canada or Slovenia;
  • be enrolled as a full-time MSc (BSc completed) or PhD student in a university (not graduating before the training course);
  • be studying for an scientific or engineering degree and have minimum knowledge in space technology. 

How to apply:

  • Fill in the application form;
  • Upload a motivation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, no images);
  • Upload a CV (Europass format, PDF, maximum 2 pages);
  • Upload a formal recommendation letter (PDF, maximum 1 page, including signature, no images) from a university professor or academic supervisor of current university;
  • Upload a copy of academic records (PDF, in English, with the university stamp);
  • All answers and documents should be in English (except academic records if not available).

The deadline for applications is 25 March 2019.

The selected students will be sponsored by ESA. The sponsorship will cover accommodation and meals, as well as up to 200 euros for travel costs to Belgium.

For more information, please contact tlp @