Reducing debris creation

‘Space debris – a journey to Earth’ nominated for design award

12 September 2018

‘Space debris – a journey to Earth’ takes viewers on a voyage from the outer Solar System back to our home planet, passing some of the thousands of now defunct human-made objects that surround it. Produced for the 7th European Conference on Space Debris, this striking film has been shortlisted for the 2018 Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum, London.

In a collaboration between ESA, ID&Sense and ONiRiXEL, ‘Space debris — a journey to Earth’ looks at how past decisions in space have affected our ability to make use of this finite resource, limiting the future potential of space exploration unless we take action to counter the problem today.

According to ESA's Space Debris Office, in almost 50 years of space activities, more than 5200 launches have placed some 7500 satellites into orbit, of which about 4300 remain in space; only a small fraction − about 1200 − were still operational as of January 2017
Space debris

Space debris includes all human-made, non-functioning objects in orbit around Earth, some of which regularly re-enter the atmosphere. As of the end of 2017, it was determined that 19 894 observable bits of space junk were circling our planet, with a combined mass of at least 8135 tonnes – that’s more mass than the entire metal structure of the Eiffel Tower.

Originally designed to explore the universe, these remnants of past exploration are now a challenge for modern space flight. ‘Space debris — a journey to Earth’ takes a closer look at different regions around our planet, the ‘junk’ that inhabits them, and its effect on the present and future use of space.

Clean Space's e.Deorbit mission

The shortlisted film will be on display from 12 September 2018 - 6 January 2019 at the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition at the Design Museum, London, alongside fascinating debris-related artefacts to accompany it. Winners will be announced in November.

‘Space debris — a journey to Earth’ can be viewed here.

For more information on the Beazley Designs of the Year visit the website and follow #BeazleyDesignsoftheYear on twitter.

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