Danger lurks in space when an unexpected collision with a space debris is encountered by a spacecraft. Chances are, with over 50 years of space travel, the probability of being hit by floating junk in space had grown higher. Such collision occurred last August 2016. Copernicus Sentinel 1A experienced a collision with a small space debris puncturing its solar wing. The impact left a 40 cm hole in the surface of the panel.
Small space debris of less than five cm in diameter can no longer be detected to evade collision. The estimated size of the space junk is about four cm. Numerous satellites experienced the same small collisions in space. These events happened 45 degrees of the polar regions. These are the nightmares that all satellite operators are gearing from, as reported by United Nations Offer for Outer Space Affairs.
According to the UNOOSA, out of the 19,000 objects that were shot up to space, only 1,400 of these are functional. The rest are space debris. These junks come in all sizes from lens caps to rocket canister stages. The volume of space junk left unchecked could cause serious damage in space for space travelers and even uncertain wreckage when these things involuntarily come down to earth without control.
Space authorities had come to an agreement to make certain guidelines on how to recover space debris floating without control. It was difficult to manage the situation since parties involved are from various countries that have space programs. An international venue is needed to call the attention and unite the space programs owners to a mutual agreement on how to do about the legislation and tracking of Space debris and its removal.
To further heighten the necessity and bringing the involved nations to an international assembly, more incidents were highlighted. The issue of space debris which struck the first and only orbiting satellite for Ecuador named Pegasus by particles from Soviet fuel tank over the Indian Ocean back in 2013. The uncontrolled re-entries of NASA's US Upper Research Satellite and Germany's ROSAT or the Roentgen Satellit X-Ray telescope satellite in 2011.
Also the accidental collision of a functioning satellite Iridium 33, a US Communications Satellite and of Cosmos 2251, a decommissioned Russian Satellite over Northern Siberia on low orbit. There are many more collisions and space debris hits that occurred that an organized international legislation, tracking, and removal is required to deal with the present situation and amend the guidelines that were based upon, as reported by Aero Society.
According to Donald Kessler, retired head of NASA's space debris program, the longer the world waits for the implementation of the legislation, tracking and removal, the more expensive it will get. He further added that the economy may affect the program and may abandon it completely but the risk of it all coming back to earth poses the danger that we all have to face.
It was only in 2014 that the international guidelines were adapted and amended to promote the legislation, tracking, and removal of space debris. These guidelines can be found in the Inter-Agency State Debris Coordination Committee (IASDCC), the UN, the International Standardization Organization (ISO), and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).