Space is a natural limited shared resource. The population of operational space objects and space debris is constantly evolving, and demands for a proactive approach to control the associated hazards and tackle the trend of a deteriorating space environment . In the recent years there has been an unprecedent growth in the use of Earth orbits.
ESA’s Zero Debris Approach is ESA’s answer to the urgent need for a leap forward in the protection of the space environment by guiding the next space system design and operation, and research activities and technology developments.
The ESA "Zero Debris" Policy and Space Debris Mitigation Standard aim at meeting and exceeding the relevant international standards on space debris mitigation and space traffic coordination, in-line with state-of-the-art technology.
The ESA Space Debris Mitigation Standard intends to improve the effectiveness of the clearance in Earth and Lunar orbits from unrecoverable debris and their propagation, so that “zero debris” are left behind by space activities.
The ESA Space Debris Mitigation Standard implies design and operational measures through to the space object end of life in order to:
The main functions of the ESA Independent Safety Office are:
The ESA corporate policy and technical requirements on Space Debris Mitigation are focused on the minimization of the risk associated with:
The compliance with the Space Debris Mitigation requirements involves:
The ESA policy defines the management process for the implementation of the technical requirements, which are provided in ESSB-ST-U-007, Issue 1 - ESA Space Debris Mitigation Requirements .
The ESA policy establishes that ECSS-U-AS-10C, Rev .1, is the ESA standard for the technical requirements on space debris mitigation.
ESA has also published the handbook ESSB-HB-U-002 , issue 2, providing guidelines for the compliance verification with the space debris mitigation requirements.
2) Standards (Requirements):
• ESSB-ST-U-004 - ESA Re-entry Safety Requirements - 04/12/2017
• ISO 24113:2019 - Space systems - Space debris mitigation requirements - 07/2019 [LATEST VERSION]