Space exploration is certainly one of the most exciting ventures for mankind. However, in the course of exploring and better understanding celestial bodies, we have left a long trail of space debris, floating in outer space. ISRO is now teaming up with Nainital-based Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES) to safeguard space assets from space debris.
What Is space Debris?
Space debris, also known as space waste, space trash, and even space garbage, is made up of man-made objects in space. It is primarily floating in Earth’s orbit and serve no useful function. It could be anything like non-functional spacecraft or an abandoned launch vehicle stage. As these fragmented space debris float around, they pose a risk to functional spacecraft.
A lot of astronomers and researchers have voiced the dangers of space debris. Former ISRO chairman Kiran Kumar has also stressed that as the number of private space agencies is increasing, a lot of smaller satellites are getting into the Earth’s orbit. This also means that the number of non-functional objects too is increasing.
ISRO MoU To Clear Space Debris
The treats from space debris can wreak havoc for space missions. This is why ISRO has signed an MoU with ARIES for cooperation in the field of astrophysics and Space Situational Awareness (SSA). ISRO notes that the MoU will be useful “in safeguarding the Indian space assets from critical threats from space debris”.
ARIES comprises of experts in observational astronomy, astrophysics, and atmospheric sciences, who will aid with the new agenda. “Today, every orbiting satellite keeps an eye on these objects and if they are likely to come in the vicinity of our operational satellite, we have to do some maneuvers to ensure that there is no collision,” Kumar said in a press meet.
ISRO will be gathering data from the public domain on orbiting objects and has set up observation stations. In this way, ISRO will be contributing to the larger global community and make space exploration safer. ISRO will also pave the way for future collaborations with ARIES for the same. Optical telescope observational facilities for tracking, research, development, and more will be done as well.
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