A sustainability rating for space debris

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In orbit around Earth today there are over 20,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters. Of these, only about 2000 are operational satellites. The remainder are space debris that create a hazard for the useful satellites that provide our global weather, navigation, and communication services.

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Space is becoming increasingly congested, even as our societal dependence on space technology is greater than ever before.

With over 20,000 pieces of debris larger than 10 centimeters, including inactive satellites and discarded rocket parts hurtling around in Earth’s orbit, the risk of damaging collisions increases every year.

Publisher: MIT News
Author: Helen Knight MIT Media Lab
Twitter: @mit
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Space Sustainability Rating could help address space debris problem

In an effort to reduce the amount of space debris circling the Earth, the World Economic Forum and its partners are working on a Space Sustainability Rating (SSR) that will indicate how well satellite operators and launchers are complying with space debris mitigation guidelines. Based on a concept by the Forum’s Global Future Council on Space Technologies, the rating system is designed to reward responsible behavior by both government and private sectors.

According to ESA, there are over 22,000 pieces of man-made debris, totaling some 7,600 tonnes, orbiting the Earth. In the vastness of space that may amount to less than a rounding error, but these dormant satellites, old boosters, paint flecks, and various bits of shrapnel left over from satellite collisions are flying about at hypersonic speeds, so a particle the size of a grain of sand can cause as much damage as a .50 caliber bullet.

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Twitter: @nwtls
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ESA Releases Space Debris Report

In order to address the issues posed by space debris on spaceflight activities UNCOPUOS has taken the initiative to create a set of internationally agreed guidelines for the long-term sustainability of outer space activities.

The content of the this document is written in response to those guidelines by raising awareness of space activities, and aims to:

‘ Provide a transparent overview of global space activities, ‘ Estimate the impact of these activities on the space environment, ‘ And quantify the effect of internationally endorsed mitigation measures aimed at sustainability of the environment.

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Recognising sustainable behaviour

Solving the growing problem of space debris will require everyone who flies rockets and satellites to adhere to sustainable practices, which doesn’t always happen. Now there will be a way to recognise those who do. We increasingly rely on satellites for every-day activities like navigation, weather forecasting and telecommunications, and any loss of these space-based services could have a serious effect on our modern economies.

Yet vital orbital pathways around Earth are becoming more congested with trash, such as abandoned satellites and rocket upper stages or debris fragments from old satellites that have exploded.

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Russia and China Would Try and Blind the U.S. Military In a War

Publisher: The National Interest
Date: 2019-05-04T08:30:00-04:00
Twitter: @thenatlinterest
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Greetings Earthlings: All systems on halt. The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. It should be alright to step abroad. It is safe.