The Jeuns

‘Satellites from ISRO Nearly Crashed into 3,000 Space Objects in 2023!’

May 3, 2024 | by The Jeuns

Space has become a bustling highway of activity, with new objects constantly entering the fray and old ones refusing to leave, creating a challenging navigation environment. A recent report from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) underscores this growing congestion in space, highlighting a significant increase in the number of space objects and the need for collision avoidance manoeuvres (CAMs) for Indian satellites.

Here are the key takeaways from ISRO’s annual Indian Space Situational Assessment Report (ISSAR) for 2023:

1. More objects, more problems: The report notes a substantial rise in the number of space objects in 2023, with 3,143 new objects added compared to 2,533 in 2022. This increase is a result of more launches and on-orbit breakups globally.

2. Close calls on the rise: ISRO satellites received over 130,000 close approach alerts in 2023, with 3,033 coming dangerously close (within 1 kilometer), requiring close monitoring.

3. Taking precautions: ISRO had to conduct a record number of collision avoidance manoeuvres (CAMs) in 2023 (23) to protect its operational satellites from potential collisions.

Despite 2023 seeing a surge in launches and deployments, signifying growth in space exploration, it has also led to a crowded and potentially hazardous environment. The report serves as a wake-up call to promote responsible behavior and collaboration among spacefaring nations to address the challenges of space debris and ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities.

ISRO is actively engaged in international efforts to tackle this challenge and advocates for the development of a universally accepted framework for space traffic management to enhance the safety and security of space operations. The organization also takes part in discussions with other space agencies and currently chairs the UN working group on long-term space sustainability.

Overall, the report underscores the need for cooperation and proactive measures to manage the increasing congestion in space and safeguard the future of space exploration and activities.


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