Making a case for multilateralism, French President Emmanuel Macron today (25 Sep) said “only collective action allows for the upholding of the sovereignty and the equality of the people in whose name we take action.” In his speech to the General Assembly, Macron said this was “the reason we must take action against climate, demographic, and digital challenges. No one alone can tackle these.” On the issue of migration specifically, the French President said, “I don’t believe in the idea of unconditional openness, this only leads to worry and intolerance. I don’t believe either in the fallacious statements made by some in Europe and elsewhere that we would be stronger were we to close our borders.”
On 20 April 2021, ESA will host the 8th European Conference on Space Debris from Darmstadt, in Germany. Scientists, engineers, industry experts and policy makers 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 millimetre in orbits around Earth. These range from inactive satellites to flakes of paint. But no matter how small the item of debris, anything travelling up to 56 000 km/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.
More than 27,000 pieces of orbital debris, or “space junk,” are tracked by the Department of Defense’s global Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensors. Much more debris -- too small to be tracked, but large enough to threaten human spaceflight and robotic missions -- exists in the near-Earth space environment.