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The European Space Agency is the host for the Fifth European Conference on Space Debris through Thursday at its Space Operations Center in Darmstadt, Germany. The ESA said the conference, which began Monday, is the largest dedicated event on space debris issues. It is co-sponsored by the British, French, German and Italian space agencies, the Committee on Space Research and the International Academy of Astronautics.

"Space debris has recently been attracting increasing attention not only due to the growing recognition of the long-term need to protect the commercially valuable low-Earth and geosynchronous orbital zones but also due to the direct threat that existing debris poses to current and future missions," the ESA said. "While commercial and scientific uses of space have expanded across a wide range of activities, including telecommunications, weather, navigation, Earth observation and science, space debris has continued to accumulate, significantly threatening current and future missions."

The space agency said speakers will present results from research on space debris, assist in defining future directions for research, identify methods of debris mitigation and remediation, assess debris-related risks and their control, devise protective measures and discuss policy issues, regulations and legal aspects.

Details about the conference are available HERE.