Ever since the start of the space age in 1957, there has been more space debris in orbit than operational satellites. While in the beginning the risk posed by space debris was unclear, it has now become a reality for any space operator, with mitigation actions required both in the short and in the long-term. The invited lecture by Francesca Letizia, from the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office, will discuss the status of the debris environment together with the effectiveness and adoption of such mitigation actions.
Francesca is a space debris engineer at the European Space Agency (ESA) Space Debris Office, where her main tasks include the assessment of general compliance to space debris mitigation guidelines and the development of a metrics for the assessment of the impact of missions to the space debris environment. Francesca is part of ESA delegation to the Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). She is also part of the team working on the development of the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR). Before joining ESA Space Debris Office, Francesca was a mission analysis engineer at OHB System, where she worked on the trajectory design and the collision avoidance strategies for satellites with electric propulsion. Francesca holds a PhD from the University of Southampton where she graduated with a thesis on a model for space debris clouds evolution and worked on the development of a tool to assess the compliance with planetary protection guidelines.