Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group 2018-05-11T03:55:39+00:00
Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group

About the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group

The Space Safety and Sustainability (SSS) Project Group, under the SGAC, provides a platform for students and young professionals to contribute to technical and policy debates on space safety and sustainability. The group pools together a wide range of SSS expertise with members located in both developed and developing nations. As the next generation of key SSS policy makers and technical experts, we explore current and future trends of space safety and sustainability. The Project Group has presented numerous papers and reports to the UN and at the International Astronautical Congress and strives to raise awareness about space safety and sustainability issues. Established in 2011, the project group has run more than 20 projects over the past 7 years, involving young professionals from all over the world.

Aims and Objectives of the Space Safety and Sustainability Project Group

To identify key issues and areas of space safety and sustainability relating to current and proposed space operations.
To examine the safety and long-term sustainability of outer space activities in all aspects, taking into account the interests of all countries.
To create an international space forum to showcase the youth’s perspective on the safety of space activities, and the sustainability of the space environment for future generations.

Current Projects

1. Martian settlement
This project is a continuation of the Mars Space Suit Safety (MS3) and One-way Human Mission to Mars (OHM) projects. This project aims to complete a risk evaluation of a manned mission to Mars, with consideration given to issues such as possible failures and hazards for the habitat, space station and astronaut spacesuit.

2. Space Environment
The safety, health and comfort of astronauts in space are of the utmost priority when considering manned space travel. This group will focuses on space life sciences, including life support systems, human psychology in space and the effects of living in a microgravity environment.

3. Space Debris
Space debris are extremely dangerous for spacecraft and satellite operations and there are tens of thousands of detectable objects in orbit around Earth and finding an effective method to de-orbit them presents a major challenge. This project reviews different de-orbiting techniques and analyses the risks of such methods with a special interest in small LEO satellites.

4. Safety Analysis of Crewed Missions to Venus

While Venus is not the focus of manned space mission proposals worldwide, an in depth study on the risks and difficulties of such a mission to Venus may change the current perspective on human colonization. This project focuses on safety analysis of a Venus mission and comparisons with missions to Mars.

5. On-Orbit Servicing
On Orbit Servicing (OOS) is the practice of repairing, restoring and refueling satellites in orbit for profit and the practical difficulties f OOS are highly relevant for the safety and sustainability of space. Technical, economical and legal problems concerning the implementation and regulation of OOS are addressed by this multidisciplinary group.

6. Low Power Plasma Thrusters
The increasing interest in small spacecraft missions will lead to the extension of reachable orbits and operations, requiring miniaturized low power electrical propulsion systems. The main focus of the group is to study this class of thruster technology readiness level, its applicability for the (2U to 6U) CubeSat class and related safety issues.

7. SSS Education and Outreach

SSS is a very active group focused on the safety and sustainability of space from the perspective of young people and outreach is required to share our research with the public. This group works to inform the public of SSS past, present and future projects, alongside other SSS initiatives like manuscripts and conferences.

The education series program aims to raise awareness of space safety and sustainability issues and acts as a starting point for young researchers wishing to enter this field. Two volumes of this series have been released; Space Situational Awareness and Space Weather: Effects on Space Missions. The team is currently preparing the third volume Space Safety featuring topics such as spacecraft risk assessment, space flight and operational safety and legal, policy and ethics.

Completed Projects

1. Active Debris Removal Policy Project
2. Object Prioritization for Active Debris Removal
3. Orbital Debris Management
4. Mars Space Suit Safety
5. Colonies Governance
6. Space Weather
7. International Spacecraft Design Policies for On-Orbit Servicing
8. One-way Human Mission to Mars
9. Active Debris Removal Mapping

Project Group leads

Jessica Creech (New Zealand)
George-Cristian Potrivitu (Romania)

Advisory team

David Finkleman (CSSI/AGI)
Ronald Kohl (AIAA)
Shannon Ryan (IAF)
Maite Trujillo (ESA/IAASS)
Brian Weeden (SWF)
Minoo Rathnasabapathy (Former SSS Co-Lead)
Ali Nasseri (SGAC, former Co-chair, former SSS Co-Lead)
Matteo Emanuelli (SGAC, Co-chair, former SSS Co-Lead)

How to get involved

The space environment is an international domain and requires collaborative efforts from all space-faring nations to ensure it’s safety. It is therefore essential that there is a culture of space safety and sustainability among the international space community. The project group will assist in building the highest possible degree of uniformity in regulations,standards, procedures and organisation regarding space safety and sustainability. This will be achieved through meetings, reports, journal publications, conference presentations, competitions, and outreach projects.

We are looking for motivated volunteers to be a part of our group. If you’d like to get involved contact the group co-leads George or Jessica and let them know which project(s) you are interested in working on. Suggestions for collaborations and funding opportunities are also welcomed!

Previous work

J. Lousada , G.R. Kamaletdinova, D. Patel, Y. Lakmal, F.A. Oluwafemi, A. De La Torre, U. Heshani, M.P.Onevsky, S.A.Skvortsov, “Approaches and Solutions for Martian Spacesuit Design”, International Astronautical Congress 2017, Adelaide, Australia
J. Lousada, “Mars Space Suit Safety”, IAASS 2017, Toulouse, France
J. Lousada , G.R. Kamaletdinova, D. Patel, Y. Lakmal, F.A. Oluwafemi, A. De La Torre, U. Heshani, M.P.Onevsky, S.A.Skvortsov, “Mars Space Suit Safety”, IAA Symposium on Human Space Exploration 2017, Torino, Italy
H. Gamal, M. J. Pardo Spiess, B. Aliaj, L. Barrow, M. Afouna, “Human Exploration of Venus: a comparative study of crewed missions to Mars and Venus”, International Astronautical Congress 2016, Guadalajara, Mexico
C. M.l Entrena Utrilla, L. Bettiol, J. Piness, I. Revesz, F. Oluwafemi, J. Lousada, “Safety Analysis of Spacesuit Design for Martian Surface”, International Astronautical Congress 2016, Guadalajara, Mexico
Y. Porat, A. Rivolta, C. Thro, A. Nasseri, J. Chan-Hao Wang, J. Lousada, J. R. Medel, N. Carletti, N. Chiu, “The On Orbit Servicing Answer to Safety and Sustainability for Future Space Activities”, International Astronautical Congress 2016, Guadalajara, Mexico
M. Emanuelli, G. Federico, J. Loughman, D. Prasad, T. Chow, M. Rathnasabapathy, “Conceptualizing an economically, legally, and politically viable active debris removal option“, Acta Astronautica 104, 1, 197-205, 2014
M. Emanuelli, C. Becker, L. Ghasemzadeh, “Priority Target for Active Debris Removal Mission”, International Astronautical Congress 2013, Beijing, China
M. Kretzenbacher, M. Rathnasabapathy, T. Chow, G. Kamaletdinova, “Novel Approaches To International Cooperation And Data Sharing For SSA”, International Astronautical Congress 2012, Naples, Italy
P. Maier, M. Rathnasabapathy, Z. Lu “Active Debris Removal: A Multinational Policy Option”, International Astronautical Congress 2012, Naples, Italy

Related Links:

International Space Safety Foundations:
International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety:
NASA’s Orbital debris page:
ESA’s page dedicated to debris:
NASA Space Weather:

Space Situational Awareness
Space Safety Magazine:
Secure World Foundation: Space sustainability – a practical guide

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  1. SGAC AAS Next Generation Event 2018

    July 23 @ 09:00 - 15:00
  2. Space Generation Congress 2018

    September 27 - September 29
  3. African Space Generation Workshop 2018

    December 13 - December 14