Space Debris: the origin

June 20, 2021, 10 p.m. UTC

Sept. 4, 2021, 10 p.m. UTC


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→ Space Debris: the origin

Who's making all this junk?

Take Part

Every piece of space debris in our orbit was at one point a functional part of a manmade satellite or launcher, before it turned into a hazard. While debris of larger explosions or critical failures typically do not go undetected, more subtle events may jettison debris in a less obvious way, especially for older satellites, which are no longer operational and unmaintained. If not observed and tracked directly, how can we know the origin of a particular piece of space junk when there are already thousands of objects orbiting our planet?

For this challenge, you will investigate several debris pieces who have been observed from groundbased equipment on Earth for some years, but whose origins and exact constitutions are unknown. Given the orbits of some potential culprits, your mission is to determine who is responsible for polluting our orbits.

Start by learning more about the challenge and the data.

This competition is organized by ESA's Advanced Concepts Team (ACT) in partnership with the H2020 MCSA ETN Stardust-R as part of the Andrea Milani Challenge.

Experts from Stardust-R are available for interactions via the competition discussion page.