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pierredv : space-junk   16

U.S. government updates orbital debris mitigation guidelines - SpaceNews.com, Dec 2019
The federal government issued updated guidelines Dec. 9 to mitigate the creation of orbital debris, but many in the space safety community were disappointed with the limited scope of the changes.
SpaceNews  orbital-debris  space-junk 
december 2019 by pierredv
ESA spacecraft dodges potential collision with Starlink satellite - SpaceNews.com Sep 2019
"The European Space Agency said Sept. 2 it maneuvered one of its Earth science satellites to avoid a potential collision with a SpaceX Starlink satellite, the first time the agency said it’s had to maneuver to avoid a satellite associated with a broadband megaconstellation."

“The case just showed that, in the absence of traffic rules and communication protocols, collision avoidance has to rely on the pragmatism of the involved operators,” Krag said. “This is done today by exchange of emails. Such a process is not viable any longer with the increase of space traffic.”

"While ESA sounded worried about the close approach, others in the industry were nonplussed by the attention it received. "
SpaceNews  SpaceX  Starlink  ESA  space-debris  space-junk 
september 2019 by pierredv
Might Satellite Constellations Learn to Avoid Debris? Larry Press, May 2019
The ESA estimates that there have been over 500 break-ups, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events resulting in fragmentation and they estimate that there are 34,000 debris objects >10 cm, 900,000 from 1 to 10 cm and 128 million from 1 mm to 1 cm. NASA says there are there are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball, 500,000 the size of a marble or larger many millions so small they can't be tracked. (watch: NASA's Animation Shows Massive Space Junk Around Earth)
CircleID  orbital-debris  space-junk  space-debris  SpaceX 
may 2019 by pierredv
The quest to conquer Earth’s space junk problem, Nature news, Sep 2018
"Zombie satellites, rocket shards and collision debris are creating major traffic risks in orbits around the planet. Researchers are working to reduce the threats posed by more than 20,000 objects in space. "

(great animation from ESA, and Nature infographic)

"Several teams are trying to improve methods for assessing what is in orbit, so that satellite operators can work more efficiently in ever-more-crowded space. Some researchers are now starting to compile a massive data set that includes the best possible information on where everything is in orbit. Others are developing taxonomies of space junk — working out how to measure properties such as the shape and size of an object, so that satellite operators know how much to worry about what’s coming their way. And several investigators are identifying special orbits that satellites could be moved into after they finish their missions so they burn up in the atmosphere quickly, helping to clean up space. "
space  orbital-debris  space-junk  animation  visualization  infographics  NatureJournal 
october 2018 by pierredv
We could find advanced aliens by looking for their space junk | New Scientist Mar 2018
"Technologically advanced aliens could be revealed by the space junk around their planets."

"Many satellites work best in geosynchronous orbits, where the satellite matches the planet’s rotation so it stays over the same general location on the surface. This is key for surveillance and telecommunications satellites. These orbits are all at about the same altitude – on Earth, around 35,800 kilometres up. So, geosynchronous satellites form a ring around the planet, known as the Clarke belt.

Socas-Navarro calculated that the opacity of Earth’s Clarke belt has increased exponentially over the past 15 years. He found that if this trend continues, it will be observable from nearby alien worlds around the year 2200."
orbital-debris  space-debris  space-junk  NewScientist  GEO 
september 2018 by pierredv
RemoveDebris Mission to Test Concepts for Cleaning up Space - Via Satellite - Apr 2018
the University of Surrey. The university’s RemoveDebris satellite — funded by the European Commission and 10 commercial partners including Airbus and Ariane Group — will conduct a series of tests to demonstrate technologies that can be used to observe and capture orbital debris.

According to the University of Surrey, the first of two capture experiments will discharge a net at a deployed target CubeSat, while the second will launch a harpoon at a target plate made of representative satellite panel materials. The third experiment will leverage vision-based navigation to rendezvous with another CubeSat using cameras and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR). The RemoveDebris spacecraft will then deploy a large dragsail to demonstrate accelerated de-orbiting, after which it will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
ViaSatellite  orbital-debris  space-junk 
april 2018 by pierredv
SMALLSATS, SPACE DEBRIS, AND SELF-REGULATION, SpaceAngels.com blog, Aug 2017
"There are a couple of reasons why commercial smallsat operators should be concerned: Firstly, nano- and microsatellites are generally less agile in orbit ... Secondly, these small satellites are especially likely to become space debris, due to the unprecedented volume of units in orbit"

"Entrepreneurial space companies are stepping in to offer novel solutions to this pressing problem."

"... industry leaders proposed a “bottom-up” framework which would enable a “coherent, collaborative, and community-wide” approach to the problem of orbital debris ... Called the Smallsat Space Traffic Safety Consortium, or SSSC, this proposed organization would enable the entrepreneurial satellite industry to continue to flourish and evolve—while simultaneously assuring responsible growth"
smallsats  nanosats  space-debris  space-junk  satellite 
september 2017 by pierredv
Catalog of Earth Satellite Orbits : Feature Articles
Two good graphics of orbiting objects

"Together, the satellite’s height, eccentricity, and inclination determine the satellite’s path and what view it will have of Earth."

"A satellite in a circular geosynchronous orbit directly over the equator (eccentricity and inclination at zero) will have a geostationary orbit that does not move at all relative to the ground."

" When the Sun is quiet, satellites in low Earth orbit have to boost their orbits about four times per year to make up for atmospheric drag. When solar activity is at its greatest, a satellite may have to be maneuvered every 2-3 weeks."
astronomy  satellite  orbits  NASA  reference  space-debris  space-junk  graphics 
august 2017 by pierredv
Why We Need a Civil Space Traffic Management System (STM), Moriba Jah - Via Satellite, Aug 2017
"Do we have an equivalent Civil Space Traffic Management (CSTM) System? No. Do we need one? Absolutely. Why? The uncontrolled and unpredictable growth of the use of near-Earth space. But what form could a CSTM System take? And what role should America have in it?"

"The CSTM’s primary functions would be to:
= Observe and Monitor: Space domain and traffic observations, Space Situational Awareness (SSA)
= Track and Catalog: Identify, characterize, and catalog objects; relational statistics, catalog updates, traffic attribution, achieve track “custody”
= Analyze and Inform: Information dissemination, safety products, conjunction data messages"

"I’ll begin by saying that our space domain and environment is no longer the sparsely populated, state-actor-dominant sphere of activity it was decades ago."

"So, who is rigorously and comprehensively analyzing the growth of the Resident Space Object (RSO) population and how does this affect orbital safety of operations and the long-term sustainability of space activities? The view of most space actors and investors is that it is someone else’s problem!"

The US "has developed, maintains, and distributes to the rest of the world the largest free record of cataloged man-made objects in space, so called RSOs. This catalog is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Defense ... However, for the growing needs and demands of the space community, these products have been shown many times to be inadequate."

"We need a CSTM system because orbital debris experts worldwide agree that, compared to what is being tracked in our USSTRATCOM catalog, the number of mission-damaging and debris-generating RSOs (1 centimeter in diameter and larger) is at least 100 times greater."

"For reasons of national security, USSTRATCOM cannot be fully transparent in providing knowledge of where all trackable RSOs are located in space. This is at odds with efforts at the United Nations Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN-COPUOS) ... Other countries are developing their own Space Situational Awareness (SSA) program and their own catalog of RSOs, in part because the USSTRATCOM products do not meet their SSA and STM needs and requirements"

"In order to put this CTSM system in place, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) needs an adequately funded and resourced mandate to: 1) use their STM Pilot Program to work with the community and provide the first instance of a Civil STM system, and 2) begin collecting and exploiting space object (e.g. non-SSN tracking) data for orbital safety purposes, with an eye to do this via a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP)."

"NASA should expand its existing role ..."
SatelliteToday  satellite  space-debris  space-junk  FAA  NASA  opinion 
august 2017 by pierredv
Sweating the Small Stuff: CubeSats Swarm Earth Orbit - Scientific American July 2017
"A boom in nanosatellites could revolutionize space science and industry, but also dramatically increase the hazards of space junk"

"As the number of CubeSats and other orbiting nanosatellites continues to rise, so too do debates about their most important effects: Are CubeSats really the vital educational, scientific and technological tools that their staunchest proponents insist they are—or are they mere indulgent toys irresponsibly adding to the menacing shell of litter already encircling the planet?"
space-debris  space  space-junk  cubesats  nanosatellites  ScientificAmerican  satellite  * 
july 2017 by pierredv
7th European Conference on Space Debris in Darmstadt
7th European Conference on Space Debris in Darmstadt from 18 to 21 April
Microsatellites, megaconstellations and strategies for combatting increasing volumes of space debris
space-debris  space  space-junk  DLR 
july 2017 by pierredv
Space debris must be removed from orbit says ESA | Science | The Guardian, Apr 2017
"7th European Conference on Space Debris, which was held at ESA’s Space Operations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany."

"ESA Space Debris Office. His team monitors the 10 satellites that ESA currently operate in low Earth orbit to protect them from the swarm of human-made debris that now surrounds our planet. On average there is a high risk alert of a potential collision every week, and every ESA satellite has to be manoeuvred to avoid a collision once or twice a year."

"The nightmare scenario that space debris experts contemplate is called the Kessler syndrome, after American astrophysicist Donald Kessler. In 1978, while working for Nasa, he published an analysis that showed frequent collisions exponentially increased the amount of space debris, leading to many more collisions, leading to much more debris until we lose the use of certain orbits because anything we put there would certainly be hit."
space-debris  space  space-junk  ESA  TheGuardian 
july 2017 by pierredv
Upfront | New Scientist, issue 3122, Apr 2017, page down for the story
"Satellites swarms could increase space junk risk by 50 per cent
SWARMS of cheap CubeSats set to deliver internet access to every corner of the globe could cause a 50 per cent rise in catastrophic collisions with other satellites, unleashing hazardous space junk."

"Hugh Lewis at the University of Southampton, UK, and his colleagues used a supercomputer to simulate 200 years of possible orbits for 300 different scenarios.

The results, presented this week at a European Space Agency conference on space debris in Darmstadt, Germany, suggest that these megaconstellations boost the risk of a catastrophic collision – in which a satellite is destroyed – by 50 per cent."
NewScientist  satellite  space-junk  space-debris  space  risk-assessment 
july 2017 by pierredv
Adrift: The Secret World of Space Junk
"Adrift is an arts project by artists Cath Le Couteur and Nick Ryan. The project explores the secret world of space junk, making it personal, visible and audible. The project takes the form of an interactive experience, a documentary film and a sound installation."
art  space  space-debris  space-junk 
june 2017 by pierredv
Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC): Homepage
"The Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) is an international governmental forum for the worldwide coordination of activities related to the issues of man-made and natural debris in space.

The primary purposes of the IADC are to exchange information on space debris research activities between member space agencies, to facilitate opportunities for cooperation in space debris research, to review the progress of ongoing cooperative activities, and to identify debris mitigation options."
satellite  space  space-junk  space-debris 
may 2017 by pierredv

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