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US-Russian Cooperation Essential for Space Debris Mitigation

US-Russian Cooperation Essential for Space Debris Mitigation

Computer model of space debris in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). Photo: NASA
Computer model of space debris in Geostationary Orbit (GEO). Photo: NASA

To reign in the ever-expanding proliferation of space debris, cooperation between the governments of the United States and Russia is essential, said Jer-Chyi Liou, chief scientist for orbital debris with NASA’s orbital debris program office. Speaking at the NewSpace 2014 conference, Liou admitted that, though tensions with Russia do currently exist, working together will be an essential step in stemming the rate of debris creation.

Rockets used to launch spacecraft, and spacecraft that decay or collide while in orbit create space debris that is difficult to remove. Tiny fragments of these spacecraft can puncture satellites and other orbiting assets, posing a threat to their on-orbit operability.

 

“As we continue to move forward to look into ways to better preserve the environment, we need to work with the Russians closely to come out with a way to address those upper stages and retire spacecraft,” said Liou.

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July 29, 2014


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