By 2030, ten firms and organizations from the space sector have pledged to develop specific solutions to reduce in-orbit debris. The Net Zero Space charter, that was unveiled on November 12 during Paris Peace Forum held in France, includes signatories such as French satellite fleet provider Eutelsat, launch service supplier Arianespace, and United States-based Earth imagery company Planet.
In a statement, Arianespace CEO Stéphane Isral said, “There are currently roughly 4,700 operational satellites in orbit, and this number might climb to over 25,000 by the close of the decade.” “As a result, we must urgently address the issue of our responsibilities in regard to rising space use, so that we can protect humanity’s long-term benefits.” The introduction of the Net Zero Space alliance resulted in no definite pledges.
However, Eutelsat Deputy Chief Executive Officer Michel Azibert, who attended the Paris Peace Forum, stated that the corporation would return next year with more clarity on the subject of space debris.
According to a Eutelsat official, the company’s Space Debris Mitigation Plan is already “more stringent” than France’s national LOS law, or Loi sur les Opérations spatiales, that also aims at ensuring that proper de-orbit procedures are followed so that satellites do not end up as debris when their operational lives are up. “When compared to the broader framework of the United Nation long-term sustainability recommendations for space activities, LOS is widely regarded to be at the top level of limits placed on operators,” the official stated.
Eutelsat claims to have a success rate of over 95% in de-orbiting its spacecraft. Nevertheless, as the number of satellites continues to rise, the corporation claims that international action is required to keep the growing congested space environment under control.
In a statement unveiling Eutelsat’s Net Zero Space effort, Azibert cautioned that “taking no action would increase the probability of space asset accidents, impair the sustainability and safety of the space operations, as well as inflate the price of access to most usable orbits.” The firm is also working extensively with satellite broadband provider OneWeb, which is the startup’s second-biggest shareholder, on the space debris mitigation challenges in low Earth orbit, according to the Eutelsat official (LEO).
OneWeb has technical development cooperation with Astroscale, a debris cleanup business that has also joined the Net Zero Space program. In LEO, Astroscale is showcasing debris-removal systems. Its Net Zero Space commitments include forming collaborations with government as well as commercial players to implement legislation and incentives to improve space sustainability, according to the company.
Chinese Earth observation provider CGSTL, EUSST-European satellite-tracking group, CNES- French space agency, IIASL- Dutch research and teaching institution, as well as French space situational awareness (SSA) firms Share my Space and Spaceable are the other Net Zero Space participants thus far.