Responsible space exploration: finding the balance between progress and environmental protection

From Peter's Journey to the Moon to Star Trek: our idea of outer space seems to be largely romanticized by these stories. The images that arise in most people's minds are of a distant mission that lets us escape into unknown, unexplored and untouched expanses. In reality, however, space is anything but untouched and an industrialization of the so-called "infinite expanses" is already taking place. The consequences of this are anything but romantic, however, as they are leading to downright pollution. This ranges from discarded satellites to abandoned rocket stages. What many people do not seem to realize in this discourse is that the effects of pollution are already having a negative impact on our planet. In this panel discussion, we therefore take a critical but equally solution-oriented look at the worrying reality of space pollution and would like to draw attention to the global impact on our planet and its inhabitants. Possible solutions and initiatives to reduce space pollution and to preserve space as a possible future resource provider are well on their way - so we ask ourselves, what needs to be implemented now to save space and why, although our focus should be on saving our Earth, do we also need to think about space? ORF presenter Elke Ziegler discusses this with Andreas Perotti (CMO FACC), Alexander Soucek (Head of Public Intern. Law Division European Space Agency (ESA)) and Sara Dalledonne (Research Fellow & Lead on Regulatory Affairs The European Space Policy Institute (ESPI)).