A life cycle assessment approach to the environmental impact of Space Debris

Diagram of a Life Cycle Assessment framework for the impact assessment of Space Debris

A new journal article led by Thibaut Maury, from the Université de Bordeaux, assesses the environmental impact of Space Debris using the Life Cycle Assessment approach. Maury was a visiting PhD student at the COMPASS team for 6 months, and our team members Camilla Colombo and Mirko Trisolini collaborated in this new study.

The main highlights of the work are:

  • Developing a methodology to include orbital space use by human-related objects within life cycle impact assessment of space missions.
  • Providing a set of characterisation factors for Low Earth Orbit considering the flux of debris as the main stressor of the orbital environment.
  • Applying the characterization factors for comparing the impacts of three theoretical post-mission disposal scenarios of the Sentinel-1A satellite.

If you want to learn more, check out this interesting publication at the journal Science of The Total Environment (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.02.438)