Donnerstag, 23. Februar 2023, 17:00 - 19:30 iCal

Big Picture Talk: "Graveyard of Space Technology"

Graveyard of Space Technology - The Problem of Space Junk

UZAII Lecture Hall 3 (2A211)
Josef-Holaubek-Platz 2 (UZA II), 1090 Vienna

Hybrider Event (an einem physischen Ort und online)

The Space Age, a new chapter in human history opened with the launch of Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957. Fast forward to 2023 and the number of operating satellites is steadily rising towards 10,000. Given the vastness of space, it is hard to imagine that man-made objects could reach numbers high enough to disturb Earth’s orbits to such a degree as to jeopardize our daily lives and the future of space exploration. With the modern space race under way Earth’s orbits will only become more “congested, contested and competitive.” The consequence of such actions gives rise to space debris – any object of human origin, beyond anyone’s control – with the potential to damage or destroy upon impact. In 1978, a NASA expert, Donald J. Kessler, predicted that past a certain critical point, the amount of space debris will keep on increasing exponentially. What are the dangers posed by space debris? Is it an issue that should concern us? Can we simply clean up space?



17:00–17:05 Welcome (Alvaro Hacar Gonzalez, VISESS Representative)

17:05–17:35 What is Space Debris? (Michael Steindorfer, Austrian Academy of Science)

17:35–18:05 Cleaning up Space (Antonio Caiazzo, ESA Clean Space Office)

18:05–18:35 Legal and Governmental Aspects of Space Debris (Annie Kazarjan, University of Vienna)

18:35–18:50 Break

18:50–19:30 Panel Discussion: The Future of Space Debris (Moderation: Agata Wisłocka, University of Vienna)


Language: English


Participation is free and open for everybody who is interested. Register here:


Organisers: Agata Wisłocka, Gweaneal Van Looveren, Vlad Răstău, Richard Kramer, Simon Schleich, Lukas Winkler



The Big Picture Talk series is organized by VISESS, the “Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences”, which is offering an internationally oriented training to current and future doctoral students at the Faculty of Earth Sciences, Geography and Astronomy of the University of Vienna. As humanity is facing grand challenges such as climate change or resource depletion, this doctoral school is addressing these challenges through inter- and transdisciplinary academic research connecting the cosmos with planet Earth, its environment and the anthroposphere. With the Big Picture Talks organized by VISESS-students, the doctoral school aims to present current topics of scientific and societal interest to the public.

Zur Webseite der Veranstaltung


Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences (VISESS)

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Martina Egger
Vienna International School of Earth and Space Sciences