March 13, 2003
International Meet on Space Debris Held in Bangalore
The 21st meeting of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC)was hosted by ISRO at Bangalore during March 10-13, 2003. During the meet,international experts, including those from Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO), discussed matters related to monitoring of objects reentering theearth's atmosphere, formulation of guidelines for mitigation of problems ofspace debris, etc. The Bangalore Meet was inaugurated on March 10th by Mr G Madhavan Nair, Member,Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram.
Apart from ISRO, which is playing a significant role in the IADC, experts fromItalian Space Agency (ASI), British National Space Centre (BNSC), the FrenchNational Space Agency (CNES), China National Space Administration (CNSA), GermanSpace Agency (DLR), the European Space Agency (ESA), Japan, the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA, the National Space Agency ofUkraine (NSAU), and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency (Rosaviakosmos)participated in the deliberations. Ever since the launch of the first artificial satellite in 1957, the spacefaring nations have dumped debris in space in the form of spent rocket stages,rocket and satellite appendages, as well as, defunct spacecraft.
Currently, itis estimated that there are about 10,000 objects in space with sizes of morethan one centimeter. This debris can pose serious threat to orbiting spacecraft. IADC is an international governmental forum for the worldwide coordination ofactivities related to the issues of man-made and natural debris in space. Theprimary objectives of IADC is to exchange information on space debris betweenspace agencies, to facilitate opportunities for cooperation in space debrisresearch, to review the progress of ongoing cooperative activities and toidentify debris mitigation options. The IADC comprises a Steering Group and fourspecialized Working Groups covering the subjects of measurements, environmentand database, protection and mitigation.