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Poland, US sign deal to share space information

21.04.2023 09:30
Poland and the United States have signed an agreement to share services and information to enhance “space situational awareness,” including about threats to satellites, according to officials. 
Photo:Twitter/The General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces

The deal was signed by Poland’s Ministry of Defence, the Polish Space Agency (POLSA) and the United States Space Operations Command (USSPACECOM), Polish state news agency PAP has reported.

Officials inked the agreement during Space Symposium 38 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on Wednesday.

Signatories included POLSA President Grzegorz Wrochna; the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces, Lt. Gen. Piotr A. Błazeusz; and USSPACECOM commander Gen. James Dickinson, the PAP news agency reported.  

Enhancing ‘safety, stability and sustainability of spaceflight’ 

The deal is designed “to enhance the safety, stability, security, and sustainability of spaceflight for all,” POLSA said in a statement.

Its chief Grzegorz Wrochna told reporters that "the fast-growing number of objects in Earth orbit," and the need to maintain “a peaceful use of outer space” mean that “there must be closer international cooperation.”

He said that the new agreement would facilitate the sharing of space situational awareness between Poland and America, adding that “it is especially important at a time when using satellite technology for communication, navigation and Earth observation has become indispensable to the functioning of modern states.”

POLSA officials told reporters the agency was “actively using information from the American side to notify public institutions about threats that exist in space, including threats to active satellites from Poland,” the PAP news agency reported.

The Pentagon’s USSPACECOM said it held more than 170 Space Situational Awareness sharing agreements with partners from the commercial sector, academia, and foreign and intergovernmental agencies.

Space Situational Awareness

The concept of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) refers to keeping track of objects in Earth orbit and predicting where they will be at any given time, according to the Space Foundation.

Experts estimate that there are tens of thousands of objects in Earth orbit that pose a potential threat to satellites and launches. 

Officials are keeping track of around 46,000 objects, including some 7,800 active satellites and around 19,000 pieces of orbital debris or “space junk,” the PAP news agency reported.

Meanwhile, the number of potentially dangerous, unidentified pieces of space debris larger than 1 cm in Earth orbit is estimated at more than 1 million, according to experts. 


Source: PAP, POLSA, US Space Operations Command, Space Foundation