First Published : 10 Mar 2010 07:04:33 AM IST
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Space debris can threaten long-term sustainability of space programmes, Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology (IIST) director Dr B.N. Suresh said on Tuesday, stressing the need to sweep space clean.
Inaugurating the 28th conference of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Co-ordination Committee (IADC) at the Technopark here, Dr Suresh said that there has been a 13 per cent increase in debris in 2009. ``Satellites have become an integral part of human society. But unfortunately orbital debris pose a serious threat,’’ he said. Space agencies of Italy, UK, US, Japan, Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany and the European Space Agency have sent representatives to the four-day conference which will deliberate on future courses of action. Around 100 delegates are participating.
Dr V.Adimurthy, IADC acting chairman and ISRO representative, said that ISRO was committed to reducing the threat of space debris. ``It’s a continuous process. We had recently released a manual on protecting man-made assets in space.,’’ he said. ISRO was also looking at developing radar and optical systems for tracking space debris, he said.
Figures furnished by the European Space Agency (ESA) on Tuesday show that traceable man-made objects in space numbered 36,131 in 2009, but they could go up to 1,27,884 by 2040, projections showed. The IADC is a platform for space agencies to share information and devise strategies to mitigate the threat posed by space debris. Today, all major space agencies are actively involved in its activities. VSSC director P.S.Veeraraghavan was also present. A 12-member Chinese delegation was to have attended the conference, but they were not present on the inaugural day.