Space domain awareness experts cited the need for the satellite industry to work with governments and other stakeholders to manage space traffic and mitigate orbital debris during a panel discussion at a conference, Via Satellite reported Thursday.
Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, senior vice president for government strategy and policy at Inmarsat Government, mentioned the increasing number of defunct satellites, rocket bodies and other orbital debris to establish the issue as a moderator for the panel.
“We’ve got an excess of 130 million fragments less than a centimeter in size zooming around out in space, 1 million fragments up to about 4 inches or 10 centimeters,” said Cowen-Hirsch.
“[U.S. Army] General Dickinson just noted that there are 7,400 flying satellites, a 22 percent increase over five years, and 41,000 pieces of debris that are being tracked,” she added.
Luisa Buinhas, co-founder of Vyoma, highlighted the need for the space industry and government sector to reevaluate and prioritize efforts to safeguard space assets.
Joe Chan, chairman of Space Data Association and director of flight dynamics at Intelsat; Eric Ingram, co-founder and CEO of SCOUT Space; and Andrea Cardellicchio, head of SSO Commercial Development for Telespazio; also joined the discussion as panelists.