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Space Data Association announces EU Space Surveillance and Tracking winner of T.S. Kelso Award

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

The European Union Space Surveillance and Tracking Partnership (EU SST) has been announced as the recipient of the Space Data Association’s T.S. Kelso Award, presented in recognition of outstanding contributions to space flight safety. The EU SST Partnership relies on the SSA capabilities of 15 Member States1 of the European Union to provide space safety services, with the EU Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) acting as Front Desk. In particular, 57 organisations are registered to the Collision Avoidance service, through which EU SST protects more than 400 satellites in all orbit regimes (LEO, MEO, GEO) and of various origins (civil, commercial, military).

Space Data Association announces EU Space Surveillance and Tracking winner of T.S. Kelso Award

The issue of collision avoidance in space has been brought into tight focus in recent years as the industry embarks on a new era of growth in satellite launches. The T.S. Kelso award celebrates substantial, innovative, long-term, and practical original contributions to the advancement of space safety, and the preservation of the space environment.

Joe Chan, SDA Chairman commented,‘The EU SST service has become a world-leading institutional SST service. Its capability to task its own sensors and provide an independent risk assessment are extremely valuable to users, many of which are also SDA Members. EU SST has earned users’ trust and respect through transparency, clarity of interfaces, frequent communications, and openness to constructive feedback. The EU SST has set a high bar for new institutional SST services currently being developed and it is an incredibly worthy winner of the T.S. Kelso Award.’

Dr Pascal Faucher, EU SST Chairman, Defence and Security, CNES, warmly thanked the Space Data Association, adding,‘It is an honour to receive the T.S Kelso Award as it recognises our commitment to delivering public services in collision avoidance, re-entry, and fragmentation analysis. We are heavily relying on Member States capabilities (mainly military sensors) as well as our vibrant and dynamic industry and start-ups ecosystem. The year 2023 represents a turning point for EU SST with the opening of the collision avoidance service to spacecraft operators worldwide since the 1st of January 2023. We are very pleased that many SDA members joined our SST user community. As we see a sharp increase in the number of satellites in orbit, it is imperative that all together, governments, industry and operators, cooperate to ensure safe, secure and sustainable space operations. We look forward to continuing to strengthen space safety through our services.’

The award was voted for by the SDA Directors among candidatures presented by SDA Members and presented to EU SST Chair, Pascal Faucher, at the AMOS Conference.

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