Since 1957, more than 4000 space launches have generated approximately 13 000 trackable objects in near-Earth space. Only some six to seven hundred of these are operational spacecraft; the remainder constitute space debris, and many are travelling fast enough to seriously damage or destroy anything they hit.
The Fourth European Conference on Space Debris, 18-20 April 2005, at ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany, aims to:
provide a forum for the results of research on space debris
assist in defining future directions for research
identify methods of debris control, reduction and protection
- discuss policy issues, regulations and legal aspects
The conference will also promote technical understanding and support discussions which are ongoing on a global level, such as within the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee, or IDAC, and at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of UNCOPUOS, the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.
The conference, to be held at ESA's Space Operations Centre, ESOC, in Darmstadt, Germany, will include sessions on the measurement of space debris and meteoroids, space surveillance, modelling of the space debris and meteoroid environment, hypervelocity impacts and shielding, risk analysis, space debris mitigation and preventative measures, among others.