The EU wants to apply a model of sustainability in space

The European Union has launched the 3SOS initiative, in order to carry out more sustainable practices in space.

The problem of space debris is one of those invisible issues. It does not affect our daily lives nor is it the subject of debate in any public arena. However, a thriving space industry, with more and more initiative due to the entry into the private sector, places more and more objects in the Earth’s orbit.

Needless to say, space junk is not something recent. The Earth’s orbit has gradually filled up with useless satellites and other objects that revolve around the Earth with visions of eternity. But the issue acquires more catastrophic dyes with the foreseeable increase in satellites in the coming years.

In order to prevent the Earth’s orbit from cramming with space junk, the European Union has launched the 3SOS initiative. It is a project aimed at having a more sustainable space.

For now no measures have been finalized, but a willingness to encourage sustainable launches and the fight against space debris. Carine Claeys, head of the Working Group for Space within the European External Action Service, said that efforts will be made to promote ethical conduct in this area.

In search of solutions

3SOS does not mean anything other than Safety, Security and Sustainability of Outer Space. The three eses symbolize a call for responsible behavior regarding space. Claeys not only points to space debris as one of the challenges present. He also stressed the need for some type of traffic management to avoid collisions. This would mean being able to identify and locate satellites better.


Another of the proposals is to make it mandatory for satellites to cause their orbit to fall by themselves at the end of their useful life. They are, for the moment, only theoretical discussions. There will be no reflection in the regulatory field for now.

The truth is that in recent years the problem of space debris has been studied from multiple research centers. The ambition to seek solutions to this issue has led to the most amazing proposals.

It has been thought of creating a satellite that acts as a broom car and cleans the orbit as it passes through the space scrap. But methods have also been devised to catch objects with a harpoon, as if hunting in the ocean. Then they would fall from orbit to force their entry into the atmosphere and their disintegration.

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