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9th European Conference on Space Debris


9th European Conference on Space Debris

World Conference Center Bonn, Germany | 1 - 4 Apr 2025

Organiser: Space Debris Office (OPS-SD)
ESA-ESOC | Darmstadt, Germany



Conference scope

The EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON SPACE DEBRIS is the largest dedicated gathering on the subject. Internationally renowned scientists, engineers, operators, industry experts, lawyers and policy makers meet here to discuss different aspects of space debris research, including measurement techniques, environment modelling theories, risk analysis techniques, protection designs, mitigation & remediation, as well linking with policy and regulation. 

Target audience

The 9th edition of this leading conference on space debris matters will provide a unique forum for information exchange, technical discussions and networking between space debris researchers, engineers & decision takers of industry, policy makers & space lawyers, insurance underwriters, space & ground system operators, institutional organizations (e.g. space agencies, EU, UN, IAA, COSPAR), academia, and the defense sector.

Participant registration opens on 1 November 2024.

Call for papers

Papers will be selected on the basis of:

  • interest in the subject by the target audience
  • relevance to the conference topics
  • originality of the ideas presented
  • quality and clarity of the content

A “No Paper – No Podium &  No Podium – No Paper” rule applies.

Abstracts can be submitted via this website from 1 October 2024 (deadline: 15 Nov 2024)

Proceedings from the previous conferences are available via

Debris background

Since 1957, nearly 6700 space launches have led to an on-orbit population today of more than 36,000 tracked objects. The very recent years have shown a revolutionary and unprecedented growth, primarily in small and commercial satellites in Low-Earth orbits, dominated by large constellations. Today, a total of nearly 10,000 objects are functional spacecraft. The remaining are space debris, i.e. objects which no longer serve any useful purpose. Most of the routinely tracked objects are fragments from about 640 break-ups, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events resulting in fragmentation of satellites or rocket bodies. In addition, there is evidence of a much larger population of debris that cannot be tracked operationally. An estimated number of 1,000,000 objects larger than 1 cm and 130 million objects larger than 1mm are expected to reside in earth orbits.

Due to relative orbital velocity of up to 56,000 km/h, centimetre-sized debris can seriously damage or disable an operational spacecraft. Collisions with an object larger than 10 cm will lead to catastrophic breakups, releasing hazardous debris clouds of which some fragments can cause further catastrophic collisions that may lead to an unstable debris environment in some orbit regions (“Kessler syndrome”).

Space debris mitigation measures, if properly implemented by spacecraft designers and missions operators, can curtail the growth rate of the space debris population. Active removal of large intact objects has been shown to be necessary to reverse the debris increase. In addition, it becomes important for each and every mission, whether a large constellation or a single 1U CubeSat, to quantify the impact it has on the space environment and other operators in order to achieve a sustainable space environment. At the end 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, thereby collectively putting Europe at the forefront of sustainability on Earth and in space, while preserving the competitiveness of its industry”. Recently, the Zero Debris Charter, a community-driven and community-building document and initiative for the global space community has been published and signed by first stakeholders. In the spirit of the goals of the charter, ESA has revised its internal space debris mitigation requirements. 

Further improving our understanding of the space debris environment, assess related risks, mitigate its growth, and control its stability, collaboration of and information sharing between a multitude of technical disciplines is key to proceed further towards a future zero debris situation. This conference aims to contribute to this goal by gathering recognised experts in their fields.