What is SSA?

Space Situational Awareness (SSA) is an essential component of the EU Space Programme. It means a holistic approach, including comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the main space hazards, encompassing collisions between space objects, fragmentation and re-entry of space objects into the atmosphere, space weather events, and near-Earth objects.

SSA plays a key role in ensuring the safety and security of the European economies, societies and citizens who rely on space-based applications for communication, navigation and observation.

Mitigating the risk of collisions

One of the core functions of SSA is to mitigate the risk of a collision between satellites and space debris, a process called Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST).

An SST system uses a network of ground- and space-based sensors and other infrastructure to survey, track and protect space objects orbiting Earth.

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