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Space Debris conference in Riyadh tackles growing issues
Opening ceremony attended by Saudi Minister of Communications and Information Technology, H.E. Eng. Abdullah Alswaha, Saudi Space Agency CEO, Dr. Mohammed Saud Al-Tamimi and Secretary General of ITU, Doreen Bogdan-Martin.
Space Debris conference in Riyadh tackles growing issues
by Sophie Jenkins
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (SPX) Feb 13, 2024

The recently concluded Space Debris Conference has set a new benchmark in the global effort to tackle the growing challenge of space debris, while simultaneously harnessing the power of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to enhance the space economy. Hosted by the Saudi Space Agency in partnership with the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and the Communications and Space Technology Commission, this event drew over 470 experts, speakers, and industry leaders, demonstrating a collective commitment to advancing space safety and sustainability.

The conference's sessions were a melting pot of innovative ideas and strategic discussions. The opening session focused on "Modern Technologies and Strategic Measures and Their Impact on Space Traffic Management," spotlighting the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in improving space traffic flow and enabling proactive collision avoidance strategies. This discussion underscored the critical need for advanced technologies to manage the increasingly congested orbits around Earth.

In a session titled "Focus on the Sky," participants emphasized the importance of enhancing space situational awareness to ensure the safety and sustainability of space activities. This session highlighted the progress in tracking and predicting space object movements, stressing the importance of international collaboration in building a comprehensive space awareness infrastructure.

The conference culminated in a session on "Towards Innovative Solutions for Space Debris Challenges," calling for effective legislative frameworks and adaptive preventive measures. This dialogue underscored the urgency of a collaborative approach among academic institutions, regulatory bodies, the private sector, and government entities to craft a roadmap for mitigating space debris risks.

Highlighting the significance of international cooperation, the event saw the signing of two memoranda of cooperation and understanding with NorthStar and LeoLabs. These agreements aim to bolster cooperation in space situational awareness and space monitoring, reflecting a shared dedication to exploring future opportunities in space exploration.

Participants praised Saudi Arabia's digital transformation efforts and its role in hosting the pioneering conference. The Kingdom's integrated system of digital capabilities has been instrumental in advancing space, technology, and innovation. The conference's scientific discussions led to recommendations for effective global governance mechanisms to address the challenges posed by space debris, reinforcing the Kingdom's commitment to environmental sustainability and the adoption of best practices in the satellite domain for civil purposes.

The engagement and outcomes of the Space Debris Conference mark a significant step forward in addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time. Through innovative solutions, legislative action, and international cooperation, the global community moves closer to ensuring the long-term sustainability of space activities, safeguarding the space environment for future generations.

This event not only highlights the urgency of tackling space debris but also showcases the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in propelling the space industry forward, setting the stage for a future where space remains accessible, safe, and sustainable for all.

Related Links
Saudi Space Agency
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

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