Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch: Gov’t, Commercial Satellite Sector Should Address In-Orbit Collisions Through Collaboration

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch
Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch

Rebecca Cowen-Hirsch, a senior vice president at Inmarsat, has called on the U.S. government and commercial satellite vendors to collaborate in the development of policies on the safety of satellite launches and seek to reduce the risk of in-orbit collisions.

Cowen-Hirsch wrote in a SpaceNews op-ed published Tuesday that inactive satellites and debris constitute the majority of approximately 23,000 man-made objects the Defense Department tracks in space.

A safe space environment “remains critical to preserve the freedom that allows for today’s level of spectrum access — access that serves as the lifeblood of satellite communications, supporting servicemen and women during global missions,” she said.

She cited Inmarsat’s partnership with two commercial satellite firms to establish the Space Data Association in order to facilitate data sharing on the location and repositioning activities of satellites.

Cowen-Hirsch also mentioned the collaboration between DoD and commercial space operators through the Commercial Integration Cell program, which runs on the Pentagon’s Joint Space Operations Center.

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