When sky has a limit: The looming space debris crisis | Data Point podcast

With the number of satellite launches surging, the space junk issue is taking centre stage. Experts explain where this debris came from, and how governments and companies can clean it up.  

March 24, 2023 02:42 pm | Updated June 30, 2023 07:22 pm IST

When countries and companies increasingly send satellites and spacecraft into orbit, they face an increasingly pressing problem: a lack of space. Debris from old satellites and other launches are floating around the earth, clogging orbital highways and increasing the risk of collisions with active satellites. Data from 2023 finds there are 13,953 pieces of trackable debris in space, compared to 10,350 spacecrafts or satellites, and 2337 rocket bodies. In today’s episode, The Hindu unpacks just how big of a problem space debris is. Experts discuss who is responsible for clean-up efforts, what that process would look like and what the path is moving forward, as our reliance on assets in space increases. 


Anirudh Sharma:  founder & CEO of Digantara, a Space Situational Awareness Company based in India.

Dr Sanat Biswas : Assistant Professor at IIIT Delhi. His research interests are space vehicle navigation, GNSS applications, nonlinear estimation, and Space Situational Awareness.

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