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Orbital Debris: the Growing Threat to Space OperationsFor nearly 50 years the amount of man-made debris in Earth orbit steadily grew, accounting for about 95% of all cataloged space objects over the past few decades. The Chinese anti-satellite test in January 2007 and the accidental collision of two spacecraft in February 2009 created more than 4000 new cataloged debris, representing an increase of 40% of the official U.S. Satellite Catalog. The frequency of collision avoidance maneuvers for both human space flight and robotic operations is increasing along with the orbital debris population. However, the principal threat to space operations is driven by the smaller and much more numerous uncataloged debris. Although the U.S. and the international aerospace communities have made significant progress in recognizing the hazards of orbital debris and in reducing or eliminating the potential for the creation of new debris, the future environment is expected to worsen without additional corrective measures.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Johnson Space Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Johnson, Nicholas L.
(NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
February 6, 2010
Subject Category
Space Transportation And Safety
Report/Patent Number
AAS 10-011
Meeting Information
Meeting: 33rd Annual Guidance and Control Conference
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Country: United States
Start Date: February 6, 2010
End Date: February 10, 2010
Sponsors: American Astronomical Society
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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