ESA’s digital celebration of space safety and Asteroid Day

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Safety & Security

14/06/2021
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ESA / Safety & Security

Register now to join us on 28 June, 18:00-20:00 CEST – seats limited.

Space Safety & Security

Join ESA live on 28 June to discover the ingenious and important ways in which the European Space Agency is keeping us safe, protecting modernity and making space sustainable for future generations.

The Space Safety Digital Festival, in celebration of Asteroid Day, will take place from 18:00 – 20:00 CEST and will be your chance to meet, mingle with and quiz experts on the risk from asteroids, the Sun, space debris, the cyber threat to space and much more.

Places are limited, so register now for free

The only natural disaster we can prevent

Artist’s impression of asteroid impact with Earth

As events over the last year have shown, unlikely but devastating natural disasters can be hard to imagine – but when they occur, they can touch everyone across the globe. An asteroid impact, you may think, is the disaster we could do least about. In fact, it may be the only natural disaster we can – with enough warning – entirely prevent.

On 30 June 1908, a 100-metre asteroid struck Siberia in what is the most harmful known asteroid event in modern history – the Tunguska impact. To commemorate this day and highlight the continued risk we face from asteroids, a global awareness campaign takes place annually, leading up to the UN-sanctioned Asteroid Day on 30 June.

Space safety – when the atmosphere isn’t enough

Every year, ESA – an official partner to Asteroid Day – takes part in the official ‘rocky’ activities, but this year will be a little different. In the run up to the big day, ESA is hosting a two-hour virtual event focussing not only on asteroids but the various risks we face from space, and the inspiring and encouraging work being done to keep us safe.

When the atmosphere isn’t enough

Earth’s thin veil protects us from small asteroids, the Sun’s harmful rays and even helps to clear up human-caused space debris orbiting at low altitudes. One day, however, a big-ish asteroid may threaten to strike, a large-ish solar storm could erupt or a broken spacecraft might tumble through the atmosphere to touch on Earth’s surface – and our atmosphere will not be enough.

While our atmosphere has made life on Earth possible, the dinosaurs would warn us that it’s not to be relied on. ESA’s Space Safety programme is working to protect us when the atmosphere isn’t enough – with some rather remarkable new technologies and epic missions.

Space for Earth

Earth Day 2021

As well as threats from space, natural disasters like extreme weather events, landslides, Earthquakes and fires threaten lives across the globe. From space, we get a unique view of the complex systems that lead to such events as well as immediate overviews during and after, providing vital information for emergency responders.

Our satellites and communication systems have become invaluable assets when it comes to responding to hazards on Earth, and ESA’s Space Safety activities aim to maximise the beneficial role of space technology in this vital area.

Securing space

Cyber attacks

Of course not all hazards are natural. Our daily lives and the technologies that underpin them are under constant attack from ‘bad actors’ on Earth. Cyber attacks on governments, hospitals, businesses and even satellite networks can have devastating effects, highlighting just how intertwined technology has become to modern life. Our space infrastructure is at risk.

Celebrating space safety

Sounds like a gloomy way to spend a Monday? The Space Safety story is actually one of remarkable technological progress and ingenuity. 

Join us to find out about the positive story of space safety – how asteroid deflection is soon to be tested, about the mission to warn us of the Sun’s violent outbursts, the progress being made to tackle space debris and the work being done to secure our satellites in space.

Register for ESA’s Space Safety Digital Festival now. Places are limited! We can’t wait to see you there.

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