Russia pushes for global ‘space hazard’ early warning system

Yuri Borisov, the director general of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, revealed the Kremlin’s proposal for a unified “space monitoring and hazard warning system” during a recent summit of space chiefs from the BRICS nations in Moscow.

Russia has launched a new initiative calling for an international partnership to create a comprehensive global monitoring network capable of detecting potential hazards from space rocks, orbital debris and other celestial threats.

Yuri Borisov, the director general of Russia’s space agency Roscosmos, revealed the Kremlin’s proposal for a unified “space monitoring and hazard warning system” during a recent summit of space chiefs from the BRICS nations in Moscow.

He said the envisioned collaboration would involve ground-based sensor installations across the globe feeding data into a “joint informational environment” that all participating countries could access and contribute to.

The proposed early warning network would be designed to track asteroids, comets and other natural space objects that could potentially intersect with Earth’s orbit and pose an impact risk. It would also monitor the increasing amount of space junk littering Earth’s orbital paths, from dead satellites to spent rocket fragments, which pose collision hazards.

While existing initiatives like NASA’s Planetary Defence Coordination Office and the European Space Agency’s Space Debris Office already monitor portions of this potential threat landscape, Russia’s plan calls for a more comprehensive, globally coordinated framework.

Borisov stressed it would be an open, inclusive effort not limited to the BRICS group of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. He said all nations would be welcome to participate by contributing ground stations and data.

Russia’s proposal comes amid growing international focus on planetary defence and space sustainability efforts. Just last year, NASA successfully altered the trajectory of an asteroid as a test of potential ways to deflect hazardous space rocks. Meanwhile, the proliferation of satellite mega-constellations like SpaceX’s Starlink network has exponentially increased orbital debris risks that threaten spacecraft and human spaceflight.

With its single, unified monitoring architecture spanning the globe, Moscow says its concept could help streamline hazard tracking and national notification protocols compared to today’s patchwork of regional efforts.

Russian officials say the initiative to establish the joint monitoring network is expected to be endorsed in a declaration by BRICS leaders at their upcoming September summit. That statement will also reaffirm the group’s stance that space must be reserved exclusively for peaceful exploration.

While the Kremlin’s proposal appears to have received an enthusiastic initial reception from BRICS partners, analysts say garnering broader international buy-in could prove challenging amid current geopolitical tensions and mistrust between Russia and the West over the war in Ukraine.