On April 20, 2021, ESA will host the 8th European Conference on Space Debris from Darmstadt, in Germany. Scientists, engineers, industry experts, and policymakers will spend the virtual four-day conference discussing the latest issues surrounding space debris. They will exchange the latest research, try to come up with solutions for potential problems, and define the future direction of any necessary action.
There are currently over 129 million objects larger than a millimeter in orbits around Earth. These range from inactive satellites to flakes of paint. But no matter how small the item of debris, anything traveling up to 56,000 km/h (35,000 mi/h) in an orbit is dangerous if it comes into contact with the many satellites that connect us around the world, be it for GPS, mobile phone data, or internet connectivity. The solution is to take action before it’s too late. This is why ESA has commissioned ClearSpace-1 — the world’s first mission to remove space debris — for launch in 2025.
This film contains interviews with ESA Head of Space Debris Office Tim Flohrer; ESA Head of Clean Space Office Luisa Innocenti; and Xanthi Oikonomidou, ESA Space Debris Office.