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ESA warns of risks from space junk

The space industry should focus more research effort on finding means to remove debris in orbit around the Earth, before it causes significant economic damage to satellites, according to the European Space Agency.

Following a European conference on space debris, ESA has emphasized that more research is needed to launch pilot cleaning missions that will allow future space exploration to be completed safely, and ensure satellites in orbit remain undamaged.

“There is a wide and strong expert consensus on the pressing need to act now to begin debris removal activities,” says Heiner Klinkrad, head of ESA’s Space Debris Office in a statement. “Our understanding of the growing space debris problem can be compared with our understanding of the need to address Earth’s changing climate some 20 years ago.”

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