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What is the biggest cause of orbital debris?

asked 2016-05-09 21:16:33 -0600

Pascal Le Dramont gravatar image

What is causing the orbital debris problem?

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answered 2016-05-09 21:23:14 -0600

Rob Mueller gravatar image

There are 17,400 catalogued objects in orbit ranging from baseball sized objects to entire spacecraft. Most of them originated in 200 fragmentation events over the last 60 years. 10 of these breakups account for 1/3 of the orbital debris around the Earth. The worst offender by far was the Chinese Fengyun-1C which produced 3,428 debris items that were catalogued and 2,880 remain on orbit as of Jan 4, 2016. The cause of this breakup is thought to be an intentional kinetic collision from another Chinese device, so it could have been avoided.


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Asked: 2016-05-09 21:16:33 -0600

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Last updated: May 09 '16