SWF Releases a New Video on Space Sustainability

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Satellites orbiting the Earth provide many tangible benefits to billions of people around the world on a daily basis. However, space is becoming increasingly congested and the continuity of these benefits cannot be taken for granted. For more than a decade, Secure World Foundation has focused its efforts on promoting the sustainable uses of outer space. While many in the space community are aware of challenges to space sustainability, the notion that the Earth’s orbital environment is a limited natural resource that must be used rationally and equitably is not part of the general knowledge of most people outside of the space community, including many business leaders and policy-makers.  To help raise awareness of the trends and factors affecting our ability to continue to use space in a sustainable fashion, Secure World Foundation has produced a short 8-minute video that explains space sustainability in an easy-to-understand manner.

The video describes how the growth in space activities over the past 60 years has produced many societal benefits that we all rely upon in our daily lives. At the same time, the space activities providing such benefits have also led to a space environment that is becoming increasingly congested with active satellites as well as spent rockets, dead satellites and other forms of space debris. The video describes how this congestion is concentrated in those orbital regions that are most widely used in space applications. All these functional and non-functional space objects are at risk of colliding with each other, which in turn could generate more debris, possibly leading to a run-away cascade of collisions called the Kessler Syndrome that could render certain orbits unusable in the future. The video then describes the various technical, policy and regulatory measures that are being explored and implemented by individual governments, industry and the international community to ensure that future generations will continue to be able to harness activities in outer space to ensure economic prosperity, peace, security and sustainable development down here on Earth.

Last updated on November 4, 2021