Questions tagged [kessler-syndrome]

The Kessler Syndrome is a phenomenon in which the amount of junk in orbit around Earth reaches a point where it just creates more and more space debris, causing big problems for satellites, astronauts and mission planners.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
2 answers
258 views

When was an operational satellite accidentally damaged by another man-made object in space?

In connection with the question on Starlink constellation potential contribution to a run-away phenomenon, also known as “Kessler syndrome”, it would be of interest to know how well actual collision ...
user avatar
  • 2,619
4 votes
1 answer
256 views

How much could a full-blown Starlink constellation contribute to a future Kessler scenario? What would be the worst-case scenario?

Discussions in comments below this answer to What is the biggest satellite constellation in space right now? have touched on risk vs reward and the Kessler Syndrome in the context of full-blown ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
0 answers
66 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 ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
256 views

Won't any space battle fill up the system with supersonic lethal shrapnel, making space very dangerous?

Any explosion in space might produce very fast moving projectiles, that may pick up way more speed after getting slingshot by planets. The same might happen with every bullet that misses. They are ...
user avatar
  • 129
3 votes
1 answer
307 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 ...
user avatar
  • 7,854
7 votes
1 answer
281 views

What is a "critical mass" equivalent of number of satellites on LEO that would initiate chain reaction of destruction if 2 of them collide?

If a satellite is destroyed and blown to multiple small pieces of debris, each one of these pieces has tiny probability of destroying another satellite, creating more debris which now will have even ...
user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
170 views

How many spy satellites could be destroyed before the debris field would be too massive to launch moon or mars manned missions?

Obviously this is very statistical. Basically I'm looking for an order of magnitude. One geostationary satellite would cause a pinball effect or would it be more like 10 satellites? I'm concerned ...
user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
149 views

Could shooting down space junk with a dirtside air cannon actually work?

I ran across this paper Propagation of Surface-to-LEO Vortex Rings For Orbital Debris Management by a kid working on his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. I really want to believe that something ...
user avatar
  • 1,825