Questions tagged [debris]

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

34 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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8
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105 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 ...
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95 views

Measuring and analyzing the tumble of space debris

How well or accurately can we measure the tumble of space debris? I know that we can make ground-based measurements based on light curve data acquired by telescopes. Can tumble be measured from radar ...
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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 ...
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When the ISS is de-orbited, what is the likely mass of the largest impact fragment?

Are there plans to modify the ISS prior to de-orbit to reduce fragment size or number.? For instance a "rapid planed disassembly" post burn ?
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Has any (additional) debris from Mir de-orbiting been found?

After reading the answers from this question and reading the excellent article here that goes through the de-orbiting in detail, I wondered if any debris had been found after it plunged into the ocean?...
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1answer
215 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 ...
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139 views

Deorbit of ISS is a unique event. Are there plans for scientific observation?

The ISS deorbit will be unique. Not only because of its mass, but because the time, location and observing conditions can be accurately chosen. Instruments could be placed for detailed observation. ...
4
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76 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) ...
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211 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 ...
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Wet space junk and flotsam washing up on shore, will it get worse, is there a plan to mitigate?

This comment links to this collectspace.com post: Three business executives vacationing (?) in the Bahamas came across part of a SpaceX Falcon 9 fairing that washed ashore. They shared their find ...
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88 views

Which Launching State HASN'T breached its obligations under the 1976 Registration Convention?

(the wording of my question above is voluntarily provocative, but the actual question below may be even more) The context: The 1976 Registration Convention is part of a set of Treaties that ...
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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 ...
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177 views

How was "toolbag-sat" imaged in space? (from Scott Manley's video)

In Scott Manley's video Could An Astronaut Throw Something From Orbit To Earth? at about 02:00 he includes a sequence of images that shows the famous tool bag that ...
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89 views

What information exactly was necessary to determine and announce this "debris causing event"?

A 1:53 PM - 19 Jul 2016 tweet from the twitter account @18SPCS said: 19 Jul: JSpOC ID’d debris causing event related to @DigitalGlobe WorldView-2; 8 debris pieces but WV2 confirmed operational & ...
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Are artificial satellites impacted primarily by natural or artificial particles?

Are functional artificial satellites/space stations/spacecraft/probes impacted primarily by natural or artificial particles/debris? Lets go by something comparable like impact frequency per mass/...
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Where can i find ELSETS with Co-Variances?

For Special Permutations (I'm a novice), an ELSET with covariance is more accurate than without covariance. A TLE doesn't have room for any covariance. However, I can't seem to find a catalog that ...
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99 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?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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95 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 ...
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58 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 ...
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439 views

How can a paint fleck make a window bullseye?

This answer repeats the fact that something as small as a few micrometers in diameter can make a visible bullseye in a window in orbit. I heard it with respect to the space shuttle, and now they have ...
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46 views

Who is the State of Registry for ALL the SpaceBEE satellites?

SpaceBEEs are tiny satellites engineered and exploited by the company Swarm Technologies. In 2018, it made headlines by sending 4 experimental satellites on a ride-share of the Indian rocket PSLV, ...
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29 views

Source of Satellite and Debris Ephemerides for Analysis

I'm working on some code that will fuse ephemeris data, the raw telescope and radar data used for locating and tracking active satellites and space debris. Most of this data is owned by the Air Force ...
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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 ...
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58 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 ...
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55 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 ...
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158 views

Calculation of collision probability based on TLE

I have to calculate the probability of collision at moment $t$ with space debris. I am using JSPOC algorythm described in https://www.space-track.org/documents/...
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47 views

Which space debris are used for science purpose?

I already know that some Apollo's space debris were used for seismic study of the Moon. Other debris may be used for scientific studies. By debris, I mean space objects that have no purpose or ...
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Listing objects and space probes beyond Earth orbit in Space Track?

Can anyone tell me how to query Space Track to list objects that are beyond Earth orbit. I am thinking of things such as the Voyagers, the Tesla Roadster and Pioneer, as examples? While there is a ...
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60 views

Temperature indicators/labels on space debris?

There was a picture in this question about space debris on shore. Seems to be a part of a Falcon 9. The round stickers are used for temperature control. Similar labels are sold by some companies, for ...
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89 views

Explosion at the launch pad and safe distance from it

As the rocket explodes at the launch pad, heat wave, sound wave and debris spread around the launch pad. So in case How the safe zone is determined in the case of explosion of the rocket at launch ...
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100 views

What is optimum data interval algorithm for Orbit Determination?

I am trying to find Optimum data interval algorithm for orbit determination. Because in Leo, Geo orbit updates the measurement data can be different so that I want to implement an optimum data ...
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155 views

How to clear the way for a space elevator?

In the answer to this question about space elevators, the poster mentioned that the elevator cable would pass through a debris cloud as it moved through lower orbits. I presume most of that material ...