The 21st meeting of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee
(IADC)was hosted by ISRO at Bangalore during March 10-13, 2003. During the
meet,international experts, including those from Indian Space Research
Organisation(ISRO), discussed matters related to monitoring of objects
reentering theearth's atmosphere, formulation of guidelines for mitigation of
problems ofspace debris, etc.
The Bangalore Meet was inaugurated on March 10th by Mr G Madhavan Nair,
Member,Space Commission and Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre,
Thiruvananthapuram.Apart from ISRO, which is playing a significant role in the
IADC, experts fromItalian Space Agency (ASI), British National Space Centre
(BNSC), the FrenchNational Space Agency (CNES), China National Space
Administration (CNSA), GermanSpace Agency (DLR), the European Space Agency
(ESA), Japan, the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of USA,
the National Space Agency ofUkraine (NSAU), and the Russian Aviation and Space
Agency (Rosaviakosmos)participated in the deliberations.
Ever since the launch of the first artificial satellite in 1957, the spacefaring
nations have dumped debris in space in the form of spent rocket stages,rocket
and satellite appendages, as well as, defunct spacecraft. Currently, itis
estimated that there are about 10,000 objects in space with sizes of morethan
one centimeter. This debris can pose serious threat to orbiting spacecraft.
IADC is an international governmental forum for the worldwide coordination
ofactivities related to the issues of man-made and natural debris in space.
Theprimary objectives of IADC is to exchange information on space debris
betweenspace agencies, to facilitate opportunities for cooperation in space
debrisresearch, to review the progress of ongoing cooperative activities and
toidentify debris mitigation options. The IADC comprises a Steering Group and
fourspecialized Working Groups covering the subjects of measurements,
environmentand database, protection and mitigation.