Fourth European Conference on space debris to address key issues

04/06/05

The European Space Agency hosts the 4th European Conference on Space Debris, 18-20 April, at ESA's Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany.

The conference, one of the world's most important events dedicated to space debris issues, is co-sponsored by the British, French, German and Italian space agencies (BNSC, CNES, DLR, ASI), the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA), and is expected to attract over 200 leading experts from all over the world.

Space debris has recently been attracting increasing attention not only due to the growing recognition of the long-term need to protect the commercially valuable low-Earth and geosynchronous orbital zones (LEO and GEO), but also due to the direct threat that existing debris poses to current and future missions. While commercial and scientific uses of space have expanded across a wide range of activities, including telecommunications, navigation, Earth observation and science, space debris has continued to accumulate, significantly threatening future missions.

Speakers at the conference will present results from research on space debris, assist in defining future directions for research, consolidate debris environment models, identify methods of debris mitigation, assess debris-related risks and their control, devise protective measures and discuss policy issues, regulations and legal aspects.

The conference will also promote the ongoing discussions taking place in a number of organisations, including the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).

On 20 April a press conference will be held with an international panel of debris experts.

Details about the conference can be found at: http://www.esa.int/spacedebris2005

Additional news and details on ESA space debris research can be found at: http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMZL0P256E_FeatureWeek_0.html

The conference will be followed immediately by the 23rd meeting of the IADC, which currently has 11 members, including its founders: ESA, NASA, the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) and Japan (JAXA). Experts will exchange results on space debris research, identify options for space debris mitigation, and discuss joint research activities. The IADC meeting is for members only.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the 4th European Conference on Space Debris. Please register using the attached fax accreditation form.

Interview opportunities on Monday 18 April and Tuesday 19 April from 12:30 13:30. Press conference on Wednesday 20 April at 14:00.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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