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ISRO Released ISSAR 2023 Report on Vulnerability of Space Assets to Collisions

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ISRO releases ISSAR 2023 report on vulnerability of space assets to collisionsSreedhara Panicker Somanath, Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO) released the Indian Space Situational Assessment Report(ISSAR) for 2023 compiled by ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management (IS4OM).

  • The report assessed the vulnerability of space assets in outer space to various environmental hazards such as: asteroids, comets and artificial objects, to ensure safe and sustainable space operations.

Key Points:

i.A total of 3143 objects originating from 212 launches and on-orbit break-up events were added to the space object population in 2023,  compared to 2,533 objects from 179 launches in 2022.

ii.Since the beginning of Indian Space era, a total of 127 Indian satellites (including the satellites of private operators/academic institutions) have been launched till 31st December 2023.

  • The number of operational satellites owned by government of India is 22 in LEO and 29 in GEO.

iii.8 Indian Satellites re-entered the atmosphere in 2023, among them Megha-Tropiques-1 underwent controlled re-entry through an immensely challenging exercise.

iv.All 7 launches of ISRO: SSLV-D2/EOS7, LVM3-M3/ONEWEB_II, PSLV-C55/ TeLEOS-2, GSLV-F12 NVS-01, LVM3-M4/ Chandrayaan-3, PSLV-C56/ DS-SAR, and PSLV-C57/Aditya L-1 in 2023 were successful.

  • A total of 5 Indian satellites, 46 foreign satellites, and 8 rocket bodies (including POEM-2) were placed in their intended orbits.

Collision Avoidance Manoeuvres:

i.The report highlighted an increasing trend in Collision Avoidance Manoeuvres(CAMs) per year which indicates growing congestion in outer space.

i.According to the report, around 1,37,565 close approach alerts were received from United States Space Command (USSPACECOM).

ii.In 2023, a total of 3,033 alerts for close approaches within a distance of 1km was detected for ISRO satellites.

iii.The report also mentioned that around 2700 close approaches were observed with other operational satellites within 5km.

iv.As per the report, ISRO carried out 23 CAMs to save its satellites from harm by space debris.

  • Out of these 23, 18 were carried out for satellites in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and 5 for spacecraft in Geo-Synchronous Earth Orbit(GEO).

Points to note:

i.The maximum number of on-orbit payload deployments with the maximum number of launches in 2023 shows a consistent growth in the space object population.

ii.IS4OM has been operational since 2022 to safeguard ISRO’s space assets and to improve compliance with internationally recognised guidelines.

iii.ISRO is active member Inter-Agency Debris Coordination Committee(IADC) with 13 space agencies, International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) space debris working group, among others..

About Indian Space Research Organisation(ISRO):
Chairman- Sreedhara Panicker Somanath
Headquarters- Bengaluru, Karnataka
Established in 1969