LeoLabs, Secure World Foundation Lead Space Debris Statement

By neub9
2 Min Read

LeoLabs and the Secure World Foundation (SWF) recently issued a joint statement regarding debris remediation. This statement, signed by representatives of commercial entities, highlights the ongoing collaboration between the two organizations. LeoLabs and SWF have taken the lead in addressing the issue of massive derelict objects, such as spent rocket bodies, accumulating in low Earth orbit (LEO).

As of January 2024, approximately 29% of the total mass in LEO is comprised of these massive objects, with 43% of them having been left in orbit since the early 2000s. This poses a significant threat to the satellites crucial to the global economy.

The joint statement acknowledges two key observations. Firstly, there is an urgent need to address the debris-generating potential of the thousands of massive derelict objects in LEO. Secondly, there are substantial economic, legal, and policy challenges that continue to impede the development of solutions for removing these objects.

This joint statement will set the stage for the first Orbital Debris Remediation Summit, which is scheduled to take place in Queenstown, New Zealand, on February 20, 2024. The summit aims to bring together government and space industry leaders to drive essential activities supporting space sustainability. The discussions will focus on reducing risk from massive derelicts through debris remediation.

According to Darren McKnight, LeoLabs Senior Technical Fellow, “Everybody wins if we can retrieve remnants of decades-old space assets and allow for the next generation of missions to operate safely.”

Peter Martinez, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation, emphasized the importance of taking practical steps towards debris remediation, stating “It’s not a question of whether we should engage in debris remediation, but rather what technical, policy and regulatory hurdles need to be overcome to make remediation practicable.”

Both organizations are committed to transitioning from academic discussions on remediation to tangible actions in orbit, and the summit is expected to be instrumental in furthering this goal.

Share This Article
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *