Russia Proposes Global Surveillance System to ‘Track Threats’

( – On Thursday, May 23rd, Moscow hosted a meeting attended by the Heads of BRICS Space Agencies. Russian Roscosmos Director General Yury Borisov proposed creating and implementing a system to “ensure the safety of space activities.” He described a global monitoring system that would monitor deep space and the area near Earth for potential hazards like asteroids or space debris on a collision course with Earth.

The system would be based on an open information platform and provide an “information hub” for Russia’s previously announced “Milky Way” civilian security system. BRICS countries would exchange data on man-made objects presenting a threat to Earth along with natural phenomena like solar activity, the trajectory of potentially damaging asteroids, and galactic radiation.

According to Borisov, BRICS countries have more than 1200 national orbital satellites. The proposed monitoring system would not be closed to participation from only BRICS countries, as many sensors would need to be placed across the planet for the system to be successful. Borisov said that BRICS countries will “call upon all nations” capable of participating to join the system.

The platform would be accessible by any participant from curious enthusiasts and amateurs to professionals. The system would be executed in two phases. Phase one would consist of creating a virtual constellation using existing satellites. Phase two would involve using the satellites and ground sensors of participating countries to create an actual satellite constellation.

Borisov also proposed building modules aboard the Russian Orbital Station to be used by BRICS countries in manned space exploration.

During the meeting, officials also spoke on drafting a joint statement by the Heads of BRICS Space agencies imploring leaders around the globe to “make every effort” to prevent the weaponization of space and to abstain from activities that could potentially damage the space environment and hinder long-term space activities. This would include “the use of civilian space infrastructure for undeclared purposes.”

Humbulani Mudau, Executive Director of the South African National Space Agency (SANSA) praised Borisov’s proposal and declared that South Africa “supports this initiative.”

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