G7 Science Ministers Warn About Space Debris


MOSCOW (Sputnik) – G7 nations’ science ministers warned on Saturday that strong international action was urgently needed to address the accumulation of orbital debris to ensure safe use of outer space.

“We … reiterate our commitment to the safe and sustainable use of outer space, and share the view that orbital debris constitutes an urgent issue,” their joint statement read.

The communique released on the second day of the G7 Science and Technology Ministers’ Meeting in Sendai, Japan, blamed the problem on the rapidly expanding space exploration and satellite launches as well as tests of direct-ascent anti-satellite missiles.

Artist's rendering of a Russian Canopus-B satellite in Earth orbit. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.08.2019

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The ministers said they would promote discussions within the UN and other international frameworks about “the impact of large constellations of satellites on astronomy for the protection of the dark and quiet sky.”

The ministers also stressed the importance of polar research for addressing climate change. They proposed strengthening international cooperation and observations in the Arctic and Antarctic and increasing the role of indigenous peoples in the Arctic research.

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