Determining the exact amount of space debris in different countries is challenging since space debris is not restricted to national boundaries and is a global issue. However, certain countries are more involved in space activities, leading to a higher contribution to space debris. Here are six countries that have been associated with significant space debris:
United States: As the leading spacefaring nation, the United States has launched numerous satellites and conducted various space missions, resulting in a substantial amount of space debris. The U.S. Space Surveillance Network actively tracks and monitors space debris to mitigate potential risks.
Russia: Russia has a long history of space exploration, including launching satellites and conducting manned missions. The Soviet Union's space activities also contributed to the accumulation of space debris. Russia continues to be a major player in space and works towards mitigating debris through international cooperation.
China: China has rapidly developed its space program, including satellite launches and crewed missions. In 2007, China intentionally destroyed one of its defunct satellites, creating a large debris cloud. China is actively working on space debris mitigation measures and advocates for international collaboration on space sustainability.
India: India has a growing space program, and its satellite launches have added to the space debris population. In 2019, India conducted an anti-satellite missile test, resulting in the creation of debris. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is committed to space debris mitigation efforts.
Japan: Japan has made significant contributions to space technology and has launched various satellites and probes. While Japan's space debris contribution is comparatively smaller than some other countries, it is still a concern. The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is involved in space debris research and mitigation efforts.
European Space Agency (ESA): The European Space Agency is an intergovernmental organization comprising multiple member states. ESA member states have conducted numerous space missions, including satellite launches. While not a country, the collective space activities of ESA member states contribute to space debris.