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The Characteristics and Consequences of the Break-up of the Fengyun-1C SpacecraftThe intentional break-up of the Fengyun-1C spacecraft on 11 January 2007 via hypervelocity collision with a ballistic object created the most severe artificial debris cloud in Earth orbit since the beginning of space exploration. More than 900 debris on the order of 10 cm or greater in size have been identified by the U.S. Space Surveillance Network (SSN). The majority of these debris reside in long-lived orbits. The NASA Orbital Debris Program Office has conducted a thorough examination of the nature of the Fengyun-1C debris cloud, using SSN data for larger debris and special Haystack radar observations for smaller debris. These data have been compared with the NASA standard satellite break-up model for collisions, and the results are presented in this paper. The orbital longevity of the debris have also been evaluated for both small and large debris. The consequent long-term spatial density effects on the low Earth orbit (LEO) regime are then described. Finally, collision probabilities between the Fengyun-1C debris cloud and the resident space object population of 1 January 2007 have been calculated. The potential effect on the growth of the near-Earth satellite population is presented.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Johnson, Nicholas L.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Stansbery, Eugene
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Liou, Jer-chyi
(Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Horstman, Matt
(Engineering Research and Consulting, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Stokeley, Christopher
(Barrios Technology, Inc. Houston, TX, United States)
Whitlock, David
(Hamilton Sundstrand Corp. Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2007
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Meeting Information
Meeting: 58th International Astronautical Congress
Location: Hyderabad
Country: India
Start Date: September 24, 2007
End Date: September 28, 2007
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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