19/10/20221 Minutes

Space Sustainability: Is it Too Late?

The panel discussion focused on examining the many dimensions of space sustainability and the possibility that the world may soon pass the point where space sustainability is seriously threatened. Moderated by Victoria Samson of the Secure World Foundation, the moderator and panellists noted the significant increase in orbiting satellites and the increased risks associated with a doubling of satellites over the last 4 years to over seven thousand. Panellists Maurizio Vanotti of OneWeb, Frank Backes of Kratos, and Dr Mark Dickinson of Inmarsat noted additional factors that are increasing the risks to space sustainability such as the militarization of space, evolution of satellites in the form of larger arrays and increased mass, and increased manoeuvrability of satellites.
Our panellists commented that these risks are mitigated by coordination among satellite operators as is already occurring among some of the LEO operators, improved situational awareness, better planning, and adoption of principles to avoid collisions such as those adopted by the maritime industry – albeit following catastrophic events. They noted that additional risk mitigation tools are needed and proposed several such as imposing penalties like the loss of market access upon bad actors, in-orbit servicing supported by a business case, and improved data.
Tune in to the recording of this webinar to find out these and other thoughts on whether it is too late to ensure space is sustainable.