Current orbital debris environmentNASA has instituted a plan for the definition of activities and resources required over the coming decade for the deepening of current understanding of anthropogenic orbital debris, and its effects on future mission operations. This understanding will be the basis of policy definition and policy implementation efforts. The most immediate requirement is the definition of the debris environment, with emphasis on data for debris sizes smaller than 4 cm. Systems-damage criteria and hypervelocity-impact theory will then be used to define the hazard to specific spacecraft.
Kessler, Donald J. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)