The European Space Agency is hosting the third European Conference on Space
Debris from 19 to 21 March at ESOC, its European Space Operations Centre in
Darmstadt, Germany. The British, French, German and Italian space agencies
(BNSC, CNES, DLR, ASI), the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), and the
International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) are co-sponsoring this event,
which will draw over 200 experts from all over the world.

While the use of space is expanding in nearly all areas — e.g.
telecommunication, navigation, Earth observation, science — space debris
is of growing concern as a threat to manned and unmanned spaceflight. The
purpose of the conference is to provide a forum for presentations of
results from research topics ranging from ground- and space-based
techniques for detection of orbital debris, trends in the orbital debris
environment in Low Earth Orbit and the geostationary ring, the design of
protective shields, to the removal of debris by tethers.

The aspects that will be discussed include methods and computer tools to
predict the growing number of man-made objects in space, analysis of
material returned from space, risks run by satellites in low-Earth and
geostationary orbit, risks on the ground from reentering objects, standards
addressing safety and mitigation of space debris, and legal issues.

The conference programme can be found at the ESA website at:

On 21 March a round table discussion will address mitigation measures and
their application. The topicality of this theme is underlined by the
deliberations on space debris at the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee
of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Spac
(UNCOPUOS) where protection and preventive measures play a key role.

The conference will be followed on 22/23 March by the 19th meeting of the
Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC), at DLR in Cologne,

IADC currently has 11 members (founder members: ESA, NASA, the Russian
Aviation and Space Agency, Rosaviakosmos, and Japan), which will exchange
results on space debris research, identify options for space debris
mitigation, and promote joint research activities.

Journalists are welcome to attend the third European Conference on Space
Debris. For more information or requests for accreditation, please contact
the Public Relations Office at ESOC, Darmstadt (Germany),
Tel: (0)49.6151.90.2696/2459, Fax: (0)49.6151.90.2961 or the conference
organisation: (0)49.6151.90.2270.