Sustainability beyond the confines of Earth: Space Situational Awareness

In 2018 Telespazio, within the Space Alliance, acquires a stake in Northstar Earth and Space:  the first step to branching out into a new business. The final episode in “A Space Story”.

27 July 2021

The Earth’s inner orbit is so polluted with space debris that it could hinder access to space for future generations. This was the scenario predicted for the year 2050 by Donald J. Kessler in 1978.

A few decades later, it became clear that the NASA astrophysicist was absolutely right.

In 2017 about 22,000 objects were tracked by the US Space Surveillance Network; only 4% of these are operative satellites, while the rest is space debris.

The consequences of this crowding are clear: satellites essential for our everyday lives are constantly endangered by shards flying crazily.

The solution is Space Situational Awareness: the ability to visualise, understand and map the physical position of natural and artificial objects orbiting the Earth.

With this goal in mind, on 16 September 2018 the Space Alliance formed by Telespazio and Thales Alenia Space purchased a share in NorthStarEarth and Space, an information services company which is developing the most advanced satellite system for monitoring the terrestrial and near space environment.

This unique constellation includes 40 satellites equipped with hyperspectral infrared sensors for geoinformation and optical sensors for monitoring space.  The first concrete step toward a new frontier in sustainability!

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