31.05.23 - On May 30, the Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) was awarded third place by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy for their 2023 GCSP Prize for Transformative Futures in Peace and Security. Launched in the autumn of 2022, this award aims to recognize innovative concepts that demonstrate remarkable potential in tackling pressing challenges related to peace and security.
The award ceremony took place online as part of the GCSP Transformative Futures Day, embracing the digital realm to celebrate transformative ideas. At the ceremony, the SSR was honored with the third place prize out of a total of 171 projects projects submitted, highlighting the widespread interest and engagement in addressing critical peace and security issues.
"We agree with leading experts from the GCSP when they argue that space sustainability is of paramount importance," Adrien Saada, SSR Operations Officer said in his acceptance speech for the event.
"Space activities are increasing exponentially as well as our dependance on space-based infrastructure for critical activities. This also increases the potential for congestion, collisions, and space debris accumulation. The fragile ecosystem of space, upon which our global communication, navigation, and scientific exploration rely, is at risk, threatening global peace and security. By promoting sustainable practices, we can mitigate these risks and ensure the long-term viability and accessibility of space resources for all, and for generations to come."
The first place winner is the Global Governance Innovation Project: Peace, Security & Humanitarian Action, and second place is the VOI Methodology.
The jury meticulously reviewed 15 shortlisted projects to identify the most outstanding contributors to the field following a rigorous evaluation process, the prize jury. Ultimately, three exceptional initiatives were rewarded, marking a significant milestone in their recognition and potential impact on the global stage.
The SSR, hosted at eSpace until June 2023 when it becomes an independent association, seeks to encourage space actors to prioritize sustainability and responsibility in their space missions, both on satellite design and operations. By enhancing transparency and encouraging organizations to take actions towards space debris mitigation, the SSR aims to mitigate risks associated with space debris and on-orbit collisions, thereby safeguarding the space environment for future generations. The SSR implements a rating system based on transparent and data-driven assessments of the sustainability level of space missions and operations. Importantly, this assessment does not disclose the operator's confidential mission data or proprietary information. Additionally, the SSR provides practical and actionable recommendations to promote improved sustainability practices.
“Today’s prize fills us with renewed determination, and inspires us to push further, work harder, and collaborate more extensively," says Saada. "We intend to leverage this recognition to engage with international partners, governments, and the private sector to drive broader adoption of the Space Sustainability Rating.”
The SSR and eSpace would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the organizations that have been pillars of support since the inception of the SSR: BryceTech, The European Space Agency (ESA), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin), and the World Economic Forum (WEF).