Dec 09 2014

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I read a SmallSat article, and a space debris description broke out

Space as a contested domain.

It recommends DoD adopt a SmallSat CONOPS:

  • Define operational reporting procedures for constellations of smallsats
  • Define data requirements to allow for improved SSA and space object tracking
  • Define the means and formats by which reporting and passing of data is to occur
  • Define under what conditions these tactically focused assets can augment national assets
  • Define the norms for responsible smallsat operations

All of which I agree, though it’s mostly motherhood and apple pie stuff. But it spent just as much time talking about space debris, including this graphic:

It’s actually worse than that — I’ve seen conservative estimates that there are another 200,000 pieces of debris too small to be tracked. Even assuming there are 500,000 pieces of debris up there, and they’re all isolated in Low Earth Orbit, there’s still only 1 piece of debris in every 5.4 million cubic miles, or a cube of space 175 miles on each side. Even confining all debris to the equatorial region, you’re still talking 1 piece of debris in a cube of space 120 miles on each side.

Certainly it’s an issue we don’t want to see get worse, but it would have to get a whole lot worse before it became a real problem. Just sayin’…

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/12/09/i-read-a-smallsat-article-and-a-space-debris-description-occurred/

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