India has put in place appropriate measures to manage the increasing space debris in low earth orbit comprising defunct satellites, discarded rocket stages and other orbital trash, Union minister Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
In reply to a written question, Singh said India's space agency Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been an active member of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and has contributed immensely to the IADC and UN guidelines for safe and sustainable space operations.
Mechanisms are in place for ensuring that the space activities are conducted in a safe and sustainable manner, said Mr Singh, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office.
The mechanisms include establishment of facilities for tracking and monitoring of space objects; best practices such as passivation of launch vehicle upper stages, conjunction assessment and collision avoidance for satellites, post mission disposal of satellites and upper stages, the minister said.
He said the ISRO System for Safe and Sustainable Space Operations Management (IS4OM) has been operationalised for safeguarding Indian space assets against space environmental hazards, to pursue the related R&D activities, and also to contribute to awareness raising on the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.
Mr Singh said the Department of Space has initiated studies towards undertaking the development of critical technologies required to achieve Autonomous Precision Landing of Space Rockets and their demonstration through Vertical Take-off & Vertical Landing of Test Vehicles.
In order to become an active stakeholder in the small satellite market, ISRO has initiated development of spacecraft buses for the small satellites, which include nano-satellite and micro-satellite. Further to that, the development of the Small Satellite Launch Vehicle is also underway to provide launch services catering to the small satellite market, he said.
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