ZERO DEBRIS CHARTER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     28th May 2024        

Context: Recently, twelve nations affirmed their commitment to the long-term sustainability of human activities in Earth orbit by signing the Zero Debris Charter at the ESA/EU Space Council.

Zero Debris Charter

  • Introduced by: European Space Agency (ESA), was unveiled at the ESA Space Summit in Seville meeting in November 2023.
  • ESA Member States' Encouragement: The Charter responds to ESA Member States' encouragement for the agency to adopt a "Zero Debris" approach for its missions and to advocate similar strategies among partners and other space actors.
  • Global Collaboration for Sustainability: It stands as the pioneering initiative uniting diverse space actors worldwide, aiming to eliminate space debris by 2030 and ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities.
  • Guiding Principles: The Charter integrates comprehensive guiding principles and achievable yet ambitious technical targets, forming the basis of a robust Zero Debris roadmap to drive global efforts in space debris mitigation and remediation.
  • Non-Legally Binding Agreement: While non-legally binding, the Charter cultivates a proactive community committed to collectively defined objectives for 2030, fostering collaboration among stakeholders.
  • Specific Targets: Charter include maintaining a mission's space debris generation probability below 1 in 1,000 per object and achieving a 99% success rate for post-mission disposal, supplemented by transparent information sharing and space traffic coordination.
  • Focus Areas for Implementation: To realize the Charter's objectives, ESA emphasizes the development of groundbreaking technologies for satellite end-of-life disposal, in-orbit servicing, and active debris removal, alongside collaboration with regulatory institutions.
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