ISRO releases ISSAR 2023 report on vulnerability of space assets to collisions

07:49 PM Apr 29, 2024 | PTI |

ISRO has released a report assessing the vulnerability of its assets in outer space to environmental hazards such as natural objects like asteroids as well as artificial space objects, to ensure safe and sustainable space operations.


Releasing the Indian Space Situational Assessment Report (ISSAR) 2023, ISRO Chairman S Somanath said, ”Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is a must in outer space.”

According to the report, about 1,37,565 close approach alerts were received from USSPACECOM. Also, a total of 3,033 alerts for close approaches within the distance of one kilometre were deduced by the ISRO satellites.

The report also identified 2,700 close approaches with other operational satellites within 5 kilometres. On certain occasions, coordination was carried out with other international agencies like SpaceX and EUMETSAT.

However, none of the close approaches were critical enough to warrant a collision avoidance manual, the report stated.


The report was compiled by ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management on April 2, 2024, according to a press release issued by ISRO.

The report stated that ISRO regularly carries out analysis through IS4OM/ISTRAC to predict close approaches by other space objects to Indian space assets. In case of any critical close approach, collision avoidance manuals (CAM) are carried out to safeguard the operational spacecraft, it added.

The consolidated data for 2023 indicates a steady growth in the space object population, as reflected by the maximum number of on-orbit payload deployments with maximum number of launches in 2023, it further said.

ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Operations Management has been operational since 2022, and its objective is to improve compliance with internationally recognised guidelines on the long term sustainability of outer space activities, the press release issued by ISRO stated.

The space agency is an active participant in many international fora such as the Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) with 13 space agencies, the International Academy of Astronautics space debris working group, International Astronautical Federation space traffic management working group, International Organization for Standardization space debris working group and UN-COPUOS scientific and technical sub-committee for discussing space debris issues, related studies and the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

Incidentally India is the chair of the UN working group on the long-term sustainability of outer space activities. ISRO as the chair of the IADC for 2023-24 had hosted the 42nd annual IADC meet in April.


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