New Delhi, Feb 02, 2023: Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh today informed that there are a total of 111 payloads and 105 Space Debris identified as Indian Objects orbiting the Earth, as tracked and catalogued by USSPACECOM and published in spacetrack website, as on 20 Jan. 2023.
In a written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Dr Jitendra Singh said, all orbiting debris will have impact on the sustainability of outer space and future missions and added that ISRO has been carrying out many studies on impacts of growing space debris on space environment.
The Minister said that research and studies on the potential and emerging threats from space debris are carried out by ISRO and academia since the early 1990. He said, in 2022, ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Operations Management (IS 4 OM) has been established towards more focused efforts to continually monitor the objects posing collision threat, improve prediction of evolution of space debris environment and concerted activities to mitigate the risk posed by space debris.
Dr Jitendra Singh added that ISRO has carried out 21 collision avoidance manoeuvres of Indian Operational Space assets in 2022 to avoid collision threats from other space objects. To deal with the threat of very small debris objects which are too small to be tracked, spacecraft needs to shielded against the impact risk. Spacecraft shielding related studies and development are under progress in ISRO to improve the protection for the upcoming missions.