Trash in the Skies III: Prospects for Active Removal of Space Debris
Release Date: 11/07/2017
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The growth in space activities has shifted space traffic management from an academic debate to real-world policy debate, yet there is still significant uncertainty about what it means and how to go about creating a workable regime. Should space traffic management be top-down with a global agreement on rules and standards? Or should it be done from the bottom-up with industry practices enshrined in national regulation? Who decides what the rules are, who they apply to, and how they are enforced? | Moderator: , SWF Space Law Advisor Panelists: , University of Toulouse , UAE Space Agency ,...info_outline Summit Panel: The Relationship Between Commercial Space and Counterspace
Over the last several years, there has been a growing focus on two different conversations: one about the commercial and economic development of space, and another about the risk of conflict on Earth extending into space. Yet there is often very little dialogue on how these two issues interact and what impact each may have on the other. How might greater geopolitical instability or actual war in space impact commercialization? Can the private sector play a role in deterring space conflict or providing more resilient capabilities? | Moderator: , SWF Director of Program Planning Panelists: ,...info_outline Closing Keynote: Jim Bridenstine
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Delivered in on June 25 at the SWF Summit for Space Sustainability in Washington, DC.info_outline Summit Opening and Spotlight Talks
This audio was recorded on June 25 during the SWF Summit for Space Sustainability at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. OPENING WELCOME & SWF VISION , SWF Director of Space Applications Programs, Summit Chair , SWF Executive Director SETTING THE STAGE: SPOTLIGHT TALKS A series of short presentations by high-level experts on current situations, trends, and challenges in the space domain that impact space sustainability. - , European Space Agency - , Regulus SpaceTech - , Bryce Space & Technology - , Prague Security Studies Institute The Role of Space for Benefits on...info_outline
Recorded in Washington, DC, on November 2, 2017.
This luncheon panel discussion examined the technical, legal, and policy prospects for active debris removal (ADR), and the steps Congress can take to help incentivize the development of ADR technologies and capabilities.
Space debris continues to pose a significant threat to future space activities. Although progress has been made over the last decade on implementing voluntary guidelines to minimize the creation of new debris, some 22,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm still exists in orbit around the Earth. Scientific studies done by multiple space agencies have shown that collisions between these debris objects will generate thousands of additional space debris, even if there were no new launches, and that removing some of the largest space debris objects from orbit can mitigate this growth and future risk.
In 2010, the Obama Administration issued a new US national space policy that included a directive to Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Secretary of Defense to jointly research and develop technologies and techniques to do ADR. Seven years later, little progress has been made, and neither NASA nor the Department of Defense has shown a willingness to invest in ADR development, despite the threat space debris poses to their continued use of space. NASA has awarded a few small grants to private sector entities for early concept studies of some promising ADR techniques, but that support has not included on-orbit demonstrations.
This event is the third in a series organized by Secure World Foundation (SWF) on Capitol Hill. In 2012, "Trash in the Skies: The Challenge of Space Debris" discussed the impact the growing amount of space debris has had on space activities, and the importance of improving space situational awareness (SSA) for managing the risk posed by space debris, and national and international efforts to mitigate space debris. In July 2017, "Trash in the Skies II: Industry Perspectives on Dealing with Space Debris" provided an update that looked at the progress made, and not made, over the last five years, and included perspectives from satellite operators and insurers on the risk to satellites from collisions with space debris.
Opening Remarks: Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), Member, Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness
- Dr. Marshall Kaplan, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Launchspace Technology Corporation
- Mr. Jerome Pearson, President, Star Technology and Research, Inc.
- Dr. Siegfried Janson, Senior Scientists, The Aerospace Corporation
- Mr. James Dunstan, Founder, Mobius Legal Group
- Dr. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning, Secure World Foundation
Moderator: Ms. Victoria Samson, Washington Office Director, Secure World Foundation
More details, including transcripts, can be found at the event page on the SWF website.