Questions tagged [debris]

Questions about debris in space, often in Earth orbit. Usually referring to nonoperational man-made satellites or parts of satellites.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
3
votes
0answers
62 views

Does China pay for damages caused by deorbiting space junk?

When China launches a big rocket, they apparently don't control the deorbit and there are large enough pieces to strike the surface and even cause damage to buildings, as happened in the Ivory Coast ...
7
votes
0answers
93 views

Was the recent uncontrolled Chinese rocket de-orbit exceptional?

The recent (April 2021) Chinese CZ-5B rocket launch gained widespread media attention because the large launcher was designed to de-orbit in an uncontrolled fashion, and ultimately landed in the ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Blue Origin's Plan to Repurpose Spent Upper Stages as Commercial Habitats: What Are the Challenges?

Blue Origin has proposed repurposing spent upper stages as commercial habitats. I imagine this means housing people inside those stages---and therefore inside the tanks that once housed dangerous ...
4
votes
2answers
294 views

Is it practical to 'shoot down' a rocket stage?

Space Policy Online has an article from yesterday titled 'AUSTIN: NO PLANS TO SHOOT DOWN ERRANT CHINESE ROCKET STAGE'. Which made me wonder - is that even plausible? If you shoot it in space, first ...
5
votes
2answers
131 views

How much debris will hit the ground from the Long March 5B compared to the debris from a GTO upper stage?

It was commented that there are currently 22 SpaceX upper stages in orbit that will eventually reenter in an uncontrolled fashion. PcMan pointed that out when I asked Why the Long March 5B wasn't ...
6
votes
0answers
82 views

How common is the ejection of small objects during final stage separation?

Source: Crew-2 launch; YouTube (timestamp link) That object seen moving right to left is the reason I ask. By playing the video frame-by-frame, it seems like it's a small object close to the camera ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

How much is really known about those liquid metal droplets orbiting the Earth? (e.g. sizes, composition, orbits…) Are any actually tracked?

The question Orbit Guardians - bs, right? mentions a company proposing a smallsat that will capture then give a roughly 200 m/s retrograde "kick" to liquid metal NaK alloy droplets in LEO ...
4
votes
3answers
251 views

Orbit Guardians - bs, right?

California-based Orbit Guardians is one of a small number of startups trying to tackle orbital debris. It's difficult to tell exactly what their plan is, but based on this animation, they seem to ...
4
votes
0answers
58 views

How problematic is debris for Starship storage/depots?

So with the recent announcement that Starship has been selected as NASA's HLS (which is pretty radical), it's raised a question in me that been around for a while. For HLS; a Starship storage(depot) ...
5
votes
1answer
157 views

ISS battery “de-orbit” burnup?

In reading these two questions: How many kilograms of nickel particles will be dispersed in Earth's atmosphere by dumping old ISS batteries overboard? and Why does it take so long for ISS garbage ...
5
votes
3answers
229 views

Why does it take so long for ISS garbage to fall out of orbit?

The ISS recently jettison some garbage and expects it to take 2-4 years to de-orbit and burn up. From Gizmodo's ISS Ditches 2.9-Ton Pallet of Batteries, Creating Its Most Massive Piece of Space Trash: ...
2
votes
0answers
97 views

What happens to the debris of a rocket that exploded or crashed? Is there a dedicated effort to cleaning the debris?

Assuming that everything is not vaporized, one would think that all waste is collected and incinerated. Does SpaceX, NASA, etc have a dedicated team/effort to cleaning up this debris?
4
votes
1answer
71 views

Dimension and mass of space debris

I am doing a project on space debris management. I wanted to know the size and shape of common space debris (like rocket upper rocket stages). Is there a website which has data on debris? I know ...
2
votes
0answers
33 views

Satellites | Debris & EMR

Over time we are launching plethora of communication satellites into space, with old ones reaching their lifespan and new ones replacing them. My Question is two folds: Are we simply creating more ...
1
vote
0answers
48 views

Does Chang'e 5 ascent module's crash has any other benefits for the space agency other than reducing the space junk?

I really appreciate what the Chinese space agency did with the ascent module, crashed it onto the lunar surface so that they won't contribute to the space debris. I was wondering if there is an ...
7
votes
1answer
377 views

What events caused this debris in highly elliptical orbits

This question has been developed from Why are objects in this highly elliptical orbit present in Vimpel but not USSpacecom which I realisd was two questions in one. Here is the same graphic from ...
8
votes
1answer
127 views

Why are objects in this highly elliptical orbit present in Vimpel but not USSpacecom

This is a screenshot from AstriaGraph. It mixes data sources for objects in orbit from Spacetrack/USSpacecom and JSC Vimpel. EDIT: I've created a separate question to split out the original two ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Out of 47,108 lines in the Satcat why are there exactly two lines with launch of the year of 000?

This looks like this answer because that's where I found this. Celestrak offers a copy of a Satcat from which a tabulation of space objects can be gleaned: https://celestrak.com/satcat/search.php ...
3
votes
0answers
53 views

What radar-trackable steel ball was thrown from the ISS before October 2015? [duplicate]

The question What kinds of things have been tossed out of the ISS? contains a now-rotted link to a YouTube video of a steel ball being thrown from the ISS for radar tracking tests. I'd sourced it from ...
2
votes
0answers
59 views

General rule for predicting Kessler syndrome

Let's say that we have a gradient for density of orbiting bodies by altitude. And we also have their relative size dispersion. Is there any general rule (or preferably a neat formula) for predicting ...
5
votes
1answer
245 views

What was the relative velocity of Kosmos-2004 and the ChangZheng rocket stage at their closest aproach?

Yesterday (15th October 2020), Kosmos-2004 and a ChangZheng rocket stage were predicted to pass within 25 metres of each other and the media was quick to report the possibility of a collision. They ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

TLE filtering techniques to remove the mean motion/eccentricity/inclination outliers

I am working on a TLE filtering code to prepare the TLE series for orbit propagation. I am using a sliding window approach with meadian+ n*mad or IQR to detect the outliers in those orbital elements ...
24
votes
1answer
3k views

What would the Venus landers look like today?

Between 1966 and 1985, several probes, mostly of Soviet design, successfully landed on Venus. Many of them continued operating long enough to send back audio, images, and various measurements, though ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

TLE on path to be deprecated - what is 9 digit?

The TLE format will soon run out of numbers. The US Space Force is implementing an Alpha 5 scheme where the first byte of the NORAD_ID will be a letter giving nearly 400,000 numbers. After that a 9-...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

How much do on-demand, artificial meteor showers cost these days?

On-demand, artificial meteor showers are discussed in Artificial Shooting Stars - how could this possibly work (economically/technologically)? Why would a box full of 1cm balls released into LEO be ...
5
votes
1answer
77 views

Does a published account of the economics of Russian debris shipbreaking exist?

Most Soviet and Russian rockets are/were launched from an inland site, and spent booster stages crash on the ground in sparsely populated (and frequently impoverished) rural areas. Since the fall of ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

How is 'space junk' monitored pre-launches and when picking satellite orbits?

There is a bunch of junk orbiting right outside the atmosphere of the Earth, an issue that gets addressed more and more as space travel develops. How do they monitor the movement of these to avoid so ...
3
votes
1answer
138 views

Implementation of NASA Breakup model Area to Mass distribution

In the research "NASA's new breakup model of evolve 4.0" the implementation for the area to mass distribution of fragments produced by collisions and explosions is provided. The distribution ...
5
votes
1answer
106 views

Do space organisations take the positions of space junk and satellites into account when launching?

There are so many satellites orbiting Earth now at various altitudes and there is quite a lot of space junk floating around as well. Now although there are so many satellites and so much junk up ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Interplanetary space mission debris orbits

I was wondering if anyone knew about a database of orbits for debris from previous interplanetary space missions. I am referring to debris or expired missions by NASA, ESA, JAXA, etc. I know there are ...
6
votes
2answers
325 views

Is it realistic to assume the Chinese Long March 5b “just missed New York”?

The Chinese successfully launched a Long March 5b... that apparently fell off the West Coast of Africa On Monday, a massive, out-of-control Chinese rocket fell out of the sky off the west coast of ...
5
votes
1answer
340 views

How do the Dynetics-led team's ALPACA lander's “drop tanks” rendezvous and jettison work in terms of trajectories?

Ars Technica's NASA awards lunar lander contracts to Blue Origin, Dynetics—and Starship says: NASA announced Thursday that it has awarded three contracts to begin initial development of lunar ...
4
votes
1answer
758 views

How does a space vehicle which carries Curiosity or Spirit rover reach a planet? [closed]

I don't know much science but was curious about it. So, what I've seen in movies is that there are lot of objects in the space and many other space items (made of rocks, moving stars etc.). So when ...
2
votes
0answers
88 views

Where can I find a satellite/space debris database with object masses

The title pretty much says it all. As far as I can tell the default method by which space debris objects are tracked/stored in a database is using two line element sets. However these have no way to ...
4
votes
1answer
241 views

Why is “Terminator Tape” electrically conductive?

A 230 foot long tape deployed from the satellite Prox-1 greatly reduced how long it took to deorbit. The tape was described as electrically conductive. Was that property intended to help the ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

Why aren't there any active space debris removal systems implemented currently?

As of July 2013, estimates of more than 170 million debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), about 670,000 debris 1–10 cm, and approximately 29,000 larger pieces of debris are in orbit. Space debris poses ...
4
votes
0answers
209 views

What is the mysterious object flying by in this SpaceX video?

In the last second of this video tweeted by spaceX, you can see an object fly by on screen. Did this come from the SpaceX ship, or is it foreign space junk? If it turns out to be the latter, is that a ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Determine if two orbits cross paths

I'm trying to determine which orbital object will have the most close calls with another object. I've gotten the full TLE catalog from Space-Track.org, and using poliastro python package have ...
0
votes
1answer
75 views

How fast is space debris travelling? [duplicate]

How fast is orbital debris travelling? I believe the speeds would vary based on the debris size, so what would be the range of velocities in that case?
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Could ejecta from asteroid Bennu enter into temporary orbit around it? If so, how?

The New York Times article The Asteroid Was Shooting Rocks Into Space. ‘Were We Safe in Orbit?’ mentions concerns about material ejected from the Bennu entering temporary orbit around the asteroid ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

What exactly is SL-24 DEB (2010-028D)?

After 3 months of work I've been able to spot satellite debris with my 20x80 binoculars for the first time. The object in question is SL-24 DEB (2010-028D). According to the data presented in www.in-...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

Space Debris and Megaconstellations: plans for ~1000kms altitude orbits

SpaceX's Starlink and other mega-constellation plans highlight safe de-orbiting features but does this also extend to altitudes higher than 1,000 kms? My concern is whether these smaller sats will ...
3
votes
1answer
116 views

How to identify an object in orbit last night?

I saw an object last night (November 24, 2019) in the sky that was rather unusual and am curious about what it might have been. It had the luminosity and speed of movement across the sky (generally ...
33
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the largest piece of space debris volumetrically?

What is the largest piece of space debris currently in Earth orbit by volume? Space debris is not limited to defunct satellites, but also includes things like spent upper stages. Bonus points for ...
2
votes
1answer
218 views

SpaceX's Starlink and astronomy

I was reading articles about Starlink and some concerned astronomers that SpaceX Starlink will lead to more space junk and eventually the death of ground based astronomy. I am just wondering how ...
6
votes
1answer
225 views

What would the Voyager probes look like today?

In the 40+ years since their launching, after traveling through the solar system and now beyond, what would the Voyager probes look like today if we could see them up close? Would they look noticeably ...
0
votes
1answer
105 views

Could 2 space ships traveling at different time pass through the same space?

This question flows from the recent question Would rocket engine exhaust create pockets of gas in space which could hinder further space exploration? it talks about daily Earth - Moon trips If we ...
2
votes
1answer
105 views

Could any “Well-Tracked Analyst Object” turn out to be a natural object or even something else?

The excellent satellite tracking database www.space-track.org, which is mantained by the United States Space Command, offers to the public accurate and up-to-date orbital elements for thousands of ...
3
votes
1answer
231 views

Would Kessler Syndrome feasibly get bad enough to prevent punching through to higher orbits?

(Related: How expensive would it be to make a spacecraft that can survive leaving an Earth suffering from Kessler Syndrome?) Kessler Syndrome is a theoretical scenario in which the density of objects ...
6
votes
1answer
171 views

Piece of debris in Venera 13 surface photos

(Source: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum) In the Venera 13 Surface photo there is a piece of debris visible (the big thing slightly left of center). It looks like a sort cover, but maybe ...

1
2 3 4 5