. 24/7 Space News .
The truth about space traffic management
by Staff Writers for LaunchSpace
Bethesda, MD (SPX) Aug 03, 2021

stock illustration only

Those familiar with air traffic management architectures understand the constraints of aircraft flying in the atmosphere, vehicle dynamics and command and control techniques. Unfortunately, space traffic has many more degrees of freedom and much less control capability. Add to this the completely uncontrolled nature of space debris and the reality that most debris objects cannot be tracked and motion cannot be accurately measured or simulated.

In fact, orbiting debris is a product of negligence. Over the first 60 years of space flight, mission plans ended with the completion of in-space operations. Satellites were shut down and left in their orbits, subject to natural influences. Little thought was given to any collateral effects of objects "adrift" in space, because "space" was thought of as "big."

An analogy might be the ocean disposal of waste items, where junk gets lost in the vastness of the seas, either by sinking to the bottom or by simply drifting with ocean currents. By contrast, a "drifting" satellite remnant in low orbit is travelling at a speed in excess of 7.3 km/sec (16,300 mph). Since orbiting objects can travel in all directions, collisions between satellites and debris can occur at speeds of over 14.6 km/sec (32,600 mph).

Of the suspected hundreds-of-thousands of dangerous debris objects in low orbits, only about 35,000 are 5 cm (2 inches) or larger in size, and only these can be tracked. The vast majority of the 1014+ junk items remain beyond current tracking capabilities, but are nevertheless dangerous in terms of causing significant damage to operating satellites. T

he detrimental effects of space junk grow worse each year, putting international space systems increasingly at risk as our communications, science and security networks rely ever more heavily on the interconnected system of satellites orbiting above our skies.

While we understand weather and have learned techniques to deal with it, the impact and disposition of orbital debris are not fully understood. Unlike weather, space junk is man-made and, if not properly dealt with, will significantly hinder the world's future economy and security.

It is a growing threat to space-based communications, weather forecasting, banking processes, scientific exploration, Earth observation and future space tourism. Space commerce is growing, and as this industry expands the need for an effective traffic management system will become critical to commercial growth and exploitation of space.

At the moment, there are no viable programs in place to deal with orbital debris, even though new satellites continue to be launched. In fact, more than 50,000 new satellites may enter service in the next few years. New launches contribute to the already-large orbital debris population.

With over 60 countries operating in space, the exponentially growing problem of orbital debris will take international collaborations and partnerships to conceive and develop innovative solutions and strategies as part of a worldwide space traffic management architecture. Inaction could lead to a total shut down of space activities. But, it may already be too late.

Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

D-Orbit completes deployment phase of WILD RIDE space mission
Fino Mornasco, Italy (SPX) Jul 27, 2021
D-Orbit, the space logistics and transportation company, announced that it has successfully completed the deployment phase of its WILD RIDE mission. As part of this phase, D-Orbit's ION Satellite Carrier (ION), the company's proprietary space transportation vehicle, successfully deployed all six satellites hosted onboard and will now proceed with the in-orbit demonstration of 12 hosted payloads. The WILD RIDE mission began on June 30, with the launch of ION SCV 003 aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Russia to stop using ISS by 2028, create own National Space Station

Life in space: Preparing for an increasingly tangible reality

Russia launches Nauka module to space station after years of delay

Blue Origin's first crewed flight minted four new astronauts

German startups launch mini-rocket challenge to SpaceX and co.

Rocket tanks of carbon fibre reinforced plastic proven possible

US watchdog upholds SpaceX's Moon lander contract

NASA performs field test of 3D imaging system for descent and landing

Science in motion for ExoMars twin rover

Aerial Scouting of 'Raised Ridges' for Ingenuity's Flight 10

China's Mars rover travels 585 meters on red planet

InSight mission: Mars unveiled

Shanxi company helps astronauts keep fit in space

How Chinese astronauts stay healthy in space

China's five-star red flag flies proudly on red planet

China's Commercial Space Industry

Next batch of OneWeb satellites set to launch August 20

Iridium granted trio of regulatory approvals in Japan

Inmarsat unveils the communications network of the future

Space company in search for professionals

Metallic glass gears up for 'Cobots,' Coatings, and More

The truth about space traffic management

DARPA selects research teams to enable quantum shift in spectrum sensing

'Metaverse': the next internet revolution?

Galileo Project to search for ET artifacts in galactic space

From the sun to the stars: A journey of exoplanet discovery begins

ALMA images moon-forming disk around alien world

Planetary shields will buckle under stellar winds from their dying stars

Hubble finds first evidence of water vapor on Ganymede

NASA Awards Launch Services Contract for the Europa Clipper Mission

Juno tunes into Jovian radio triggered by Jupiter's volcanic moon Io

Ride with Juno as it flies past Jupiter and Ganymede

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.