New spacecraft sustainability rating targets space junk

Spacecraft operators will be able to apply for sustainability rating beginning next year to prove their satellites don’t present unnecessary risk in the orbital environment and contribute to the problem of space junk. 

The rating, designed to encourage sustainable behavior, will look at various aspects of the mission design, including the choice of orbit, measures to prevent collisions and de-orbiting plans. Companies will be able to gain bonus points for installing special features on their spacecraft that would make active removal easier at the end of the satellite’s lifetime, such as magnetic plates of handles. 

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