News Update

LeoLabs, Secure World Foundation lead joint statement on space debris

Mar 2024 | No Comment

LeoLabs released a joint statement on debris remediation signed by representatives of commercial entities in collaboration with the Secure World Foundation (SWF).

LeoLabs and SWF led this effort in response to the continual accumulation of massive derelict objects (e.g. spent rocket bodies, etc.) in low Earth orbit (LEO).

As of January 2024, around 29% of the total mass in LEO consists of these massive objects, 43% of which were left in orbit since the turn of the century. These objects pose the greatest debris-generating potential in LEO, putting the satellites the global economy relies on at risk.

Signatories to the joint statement agreed on two foundational observations:

  1. the debris-generating potential from the thousands of massive derelicts, primarily spent rocket stages and non-operational payloads, abandoned in low Earth orbit must be dealt with now; and
  2. there are persistent economic, legal, and policy challenges that are still hindering the development of solutions focused on the removal of these massive objects.

The joint statement will underpin the first Orbital Debris Remediation Summit co-hosted by LeoLabs and SWF in Queenstown, New Zealand on 20 February 2024.

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