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A New Look at the GEO and Near-GEO Regimes: Operations, Disposals, and DebrisSince 1963 more than 900 spacecraft and more than 200 launch vehicle upper stages have been inserted into the vicinity of the geosynchronous regime. Equally important, more than 300 spacecraft have been maneuvered into disposal orbits at mission termination to alleviate unnecessary congestion in the finite GEO region. However, the number of GEO satellites continues to grow, and evidence exists of a substantial small debris population. In addition, the operational modes of an increasing number of GEO spacecraft differ from those of their predecessors of several decades ago, including more frequent utilization of inclined and eccentric geosynchronous orbits. Consequently, the nature of the GEO regime and its immediate surroundings is evolving from well-known classical characteristics. This paper takes a fresh look at the GEO satellite population and the near- and far-term environmental implications of the region, including the effects of national and international debris mitigation measures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Johnson, Nicholas
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2011
Subject Category
Space Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
Meeting: 62nd International Astronautical Congress
Location: Cape Town
Country: South Africa
Start Date: October 3, 2011
End Date: October 7, 2011
Sponsors: International Astronautical Federation
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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