Does ESA give serious consideration to the issue of space debris?
ESA has already taken the initiative to remove its satellites from crowded orbits (e.g. ERS-2) when technically feasible, by managing the end of their missions rather than waiting for a failure to declare the end of a mission.
Today, ESA missions take into consideration space debris mitigation requirements during the development of future satellites and, when technically feasible, during the operations of current satellites.
ESA seriously considers the issue of space debris. For this reason, the Agency organises conferences, workshops and other events to bring together interested parties to discuss solutions. One of these events was the Sixth European Conference on Space Debris, organised by ESA and co-sponsored by ASI, CNES, DLR, UKSA, IAA and COSPAR. Held in April 2013, this four-day conference provided a forum for internationally renowned scientists, engineers, operators, lawyers and policy-makers to present and discuss latest results and define future directions for research.