March 12, 2013
Russia would build a system to protect the Earth from meteors and other space debris, Russian federal space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.
“Roscosmos has formed a working group with experts from the defence ministry and the Russian Academy of Science to create a unified system of early warning and countering space threats,” Xinhua quoted Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin as saying.
The project, titled “Citadel”, would cost about $500 million, and could be implemented only with international cooperation, said Anatoly Zaitsev, head of the Center of Planetary Protection, a scientific and research organisation.
According to RIA Novosti, Popovkin said the Russian Academy of Sciences should be made responsible for developing asteroid threat monitoring systems while Roscosmos should be in charge of monitoring space debris.
The foreign ministry should be entrusted with matters of countering space threats at interstate level, he said.
Popovkin warned that in 20 years, the world might no longer be able to deploy geosynchronous satellites in space because all available orbits would be littered with debris due to their constant disintegration.
According to calculations by Roscosmos, the possibility of collisions between working satellites and debris has risen sharply.
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