March 12, 2013 (TSR-Xinhua) – Russia would build a system to protect the earth from meteors and other space debris, Russian federal space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.
“Roscosmos has formed a working group with experts from the Defense Ministry and the Russian Academy of Science to create a unified system of early warning and countering space threats,” Roscosmos head Vladimir Popovkin said in a government meeting, which had gathered officials from Roscosmos, the defense and foreign ministries and other groups.
The project, titled “Citadel,” would cost about 500 million U.S. dollars, and could be implemented only with international cooperation, said Anatoly Zaitsev, head of the Center of Planetary Protection, a scientific and research organization.
Popovkin warned that, in 20 years, the world might no longer be able to deploy geosynchronous satellites in space because all available orbits would be littered with debris due to their constant disintegration.
Calculations from Roscosmos show the possibility of collisions between working satellites and debris has risen sharply.
The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces was urged by the government to come up with a plan to protect Russia from space “guests” after a meteorite, nicknamed “Fireball”, strike injured more than 1,200 people and damaged homes in the country’s Chelyabinsk region on Feb. 15.