As part of the proposal, the FCC seeks to quicken the disposal process for satellites that are licensed by the U.S., and even those beyond the American licensing terms if they serve the U.S. market. The agency will vote on the recommendations at a meeting scheduled for September 29. Notably, the FCC doesn’t highlight any specific methods for getting rid of space litter. But so far, experts have proposed numerous solutions, such as minimizing the generation of mission-related debris during the deployment and use of spacecraft.
Hastening the orbital decay of spacecraft and rocket bodies at the expiration of their functional lives, and placing rocket bodies and spacecraft in disposal orbits are also viable solutions, according to the book “Orbital Debris: A Technical Assessment.” Collision risks are not the only problem, though. Due to the time and fuel required for each maneuver, which could otherwise be utilized for the spacecraft’s primary task, satellite managers are unable to steer clear of every potential collision.
However, the removal of space trash isn’t a job that a single agency, or country, can handle. It needs to be a collaborative effort, with equitable participation from the biggest culprits in terms of resource and effort allocation. According to a Statista report published in September 2022, Russia contributes the lion’s share of space garbage, followed by China and the United States. However, the geopolitical tensions between the three nations far outweigh the technical challenges that scientists have outlined.