by Claudiu Mihai Tăiatu

Space debris can be considered the biggest concern at international level related to space activities, especially in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). According to the European Space Agency (ESA), space debris could be generated via collisions or by explosions in orbit caused by left-over energy, fuel and batteries, onboard spacecraft, and rockets. Contributing to the growth of space debris are the spent rocket stages and non-functional satellites. The collisions in outer space can start a chain reaction, known as the Kessler effect, defined by the NASA scientist Donald Kessler in 1978. Thus, space debris poses a growing threat to operational satellites and potentially to the future human spaceflight. From a legal perspective, we currently have the IADC and UNCOPUOS space debris mitigation guidelines which are voluntary in nature. The topic of space debris is also closely linked to the sustainability of outer space”.


Space Debris