Zero Debris Community Update
World-first Zero Debris Charter open for registration
6 November 2023
The Zero Debris Charter has been released to the public after months of intense collaboration between 40+ organisations, to be signed by all space actors ready to commit to a more sustainable future in space.
At the Ministerial Conference of 2022, ESA was encouraged by its Member States to implement “a Zero Debris approach for its missions; and to encourage partners and other actors to pursue similar paths.” ESA is leading a profound internal transformation of its space debris mitigation and remediation practices and intends to stimulate similar endeavours in Europe and beyond.
During the Paris Air Show in June 2023, ESA, accompanied by representatives of Airbus Defence and Space, Thales Alenia Space and OHB, announced the launch of the Zero Debris Charter initiative, under the umbrella of the Protect Accelerator.
“As space infrastructure has become the backbone of our modern society, the proliferation of space debris is threatening our way of life. Now is the time to act as a community to channel our collective efforts,” said ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher.
“To implement the Zero Debris Charter, ESA will focus on developing ground-breaking technologies for satellite end-of-life disposal, in-orbit servicing and active debris removal. In addition, ESA will work hand-in-hand with institutions in charge of regulatory aspects.”
The Zero Debris Charter was written by and for the global space community with the aim of shaping the global consensus on space sustainability. By gathering a wide and varied array of space entities to define ambitious and measurable space debris mitigation and remediation targets for 2030, the Zero Debris Charter has already:
- Built a diverse community of actors in Europe and beyond, committed to further advancing space safety and sustainability, including industrial players of all sizes, government agencies, international organisations, universities and research centres, non-profit foundations and more.
- Developed a precise and common vision of space sustainability for 2030 – combining far-reaching guiding principles and highly ambitious yet realistic technical targets on which to build an ambitious Zero Debris roadmap, driving global space debris mitigation and remediation efforts.
As organisations having actively engaged in the open and collaborative development process of the Zero Debris Charter, united as “those working towards a Zero Debris future”, we are delighted that the Charter has been finalised on 16 October 2023 and released today, on the occasion of the Space Summit 2023.
Based on a draft zero proposed by ESA, we have analysed, debated and rewritten every single line of the Charter through a fully open and collaborative process. Beyond the prowess of having converged on such an ambitious document in record time, our exchanges have revealed a strong consensus in Europe and beyond on the need to go beyond existing space safety and sustainability practices.
The Zero Debris Charter is just the beginning, the starting point of our ambitious, collective capacity building activities. Join the Zero Debris community of co-publishers below and help us achieve a Zero Debris future by 2030!
Airbus Defence and Space, Astroscale, FFG Austrian Research Promotion Agency, Clearspace, D-Orbit, Dassault Aviation, DSI Aerospace, Ecosmic, Enpulsion, EPFL Space Center (eSpace) - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, European Astronomical Society, European Southern Observatory, European Space Agency, European Space Policy Institute, GHGSAT, GMV, Global Network on Sustainablity in Space, HPS GmbH, HPS Romania, KINETIK Space, Look Up Space, Neuraspace, Northstar Earth&Space, OHB, OKAPI:Orbits, Paris Peace Forum, Portuguese Space Agency, Re CAE, Space Sustainability Rating, Thales Alenia Space, ThinkTank Maths.
How to sign the Charter and join the Zero Debris community
Upon release of the Zero Debris Charter on ESA’s website on 7 November 2023, a period of registration of intent to sign the Charter has been opened. To register, click here. Once all interested entities will have been able to confirm their intent, signing ceremonies will be held in the first half of 2024.
For media requests, contact email@example.com.