Space is getting congested and traffic management is important, says Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister
Scientific Advisor to the Defence Minister Dr. G. Satheesh Reddy has stressed the need to launch a National Programme for Space Situational Awareness (SSA).
Delivering the keynote address on SSA Scenario and Way Forward at a workshop on SSA and Space Traffic Management-Growing Concerns on Space Environment, here on January 11, Wednesday, Dr. Reddy said as the space environment is congested there is a need for a national programme for SSA.
‘Space is getting congested, space traffic management is very important. There should be proper laws and proper mechanisms which need to be brought in for space traffic management,’ Dr. Reddy said.
Dr. Reddy also said that international partnerships are also very important along with strict regulations for effective SSA. ‘If you look at the last decade in various universities and other places the space law has been introduced and people have been updating it and it is evolving. There have to be regulations and there have to be imposed disciplines,’ Dr. Reddy said.
He added that agencies should ensure that there is zero debris whenever a space mission is undertaken. Dr. Reddy said that space has now become the fourth dimension of warfare in the last few years.
‘On the military side, space has become the fourth dimension of warfare. Earlier, we used to have only land, air and sea but now space has become the fourth dimension of warfare. A lot of military-related and defence-related activity have already started in a big way in the space domain, and it will only increase in the future,’ he said.
Moratorium on anti-satellite test
Dr. Pawan Goenka, chairman of Indian National Space Promotion and Authorisation Centre (IN-SPACe), which functions as an autonomous agency in the Department of Space suggested that there be a moratorium on anti-satellite tests for at least for 10 years.
‘I am not an expert but can we talk about a moratorium on anti-satellite tests for at least 10 years, can we say that the five years become the standard post mission disposal? The US has taken lead in both of these and can the whole global community come together and say we are going to follow this,’ he said.
He added that the number of space objects will increase from what is now roughly about four and half thousand active space objects to maybe more than 60,000 space objects by 2030.
‘Pieces of trackable debris of about 10 centimeters or more depending on which data you believe may go up from about 25,000 today to maybe one lakh at least by 2030 and therefore the space traffic may become as bad as Bengaluru or Mumbai or New York City’s traffic,’ he said.
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