United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs

Space Debris and Nuclear Power Sources

Every year the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) invites Member States to submit reports on national research on space debris, safety of space objects with nuclear power sources on board and problems of their collisions with space debris. The information received is disseminated as a UN document in all official languages.

In accordance with international space law, Member States also provide information on space objects that have been discovered within their territory. A list of these objects is available online.

In accordance with Principles Relevant to the Use of Nuclear Power Sources in Outer Space (resolution 47/68 of 14 December 1992), Member States also provide information on safety assessments carried out prior to launch of nuclear-powered space objects. A list of these notification is available online.

Click here for an index of online documents relating to space debris, nuclear power sources in space and other related subjects. This index also includes notifications by member States of space debris discovered within their territories. The Technical Report on Space Debris adopted by the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is available as a pdf file for download.

In 2007, the Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space ( ST/SPACE/49 ), were endorsed by the General Assembly and were the result of a multi-year discussion on the issue within COPUOS.

Click here for more information on space debris mitigation standards.

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