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Orbital Debris Short Course

A Primer on Orbital Debris

November 18, 2014

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the College Park Marriott and Conference Center

Before the start of the main workshop a short course on orbital debris will be offered by Launchspace.  Registration for this course is separate from the main workshop, but can be found on the workshop registration page.  It is not a requirement that those registered for the short course also be registered for the workshop, but if you plan to stay for the workshop, registration and payment for the workshop is required.  A continental breakfast and mid-morning refreshments will be provided.  Lunch is not included, but there is a restaurant at the Marriott.


Since 1957, artificial satellites and launch vehicles have created an ever growing number of orbiting debris objects, from a few microns to several meters in size. In recent years a number of international agreements have been made to limit the growth rate of debris. However, there is no serious program to reduce the amount of existing debris. Recent developments such as the proliferation of debris from the Chinese ASAT test of 2007 and the 2009 collision of an Iridium satellite with a Russian Cosmos have raised the level of urgency to actively manage the debris situation. Mitigation approaches have been pursued and many reduction techniques have been suggested. Many new spacecraft are now able to maneuver out of the way at their end of life. But, little is being done to reduce existing debris. This seminar offers an introduction to the dangers and the options associated with the growing debris problem for low orbiting and geostationary satellites. It is specially designed for the 2014 CODER Workshop at the University of Maryland


What is Space Debris and Where Did it Come From
Space is Big, But How Big
The Debris Hunters
Politics, Policies and Treaties
Operating in LEO and in GEO

SEMINAR LEADER:  Marshall H. Kaplan, Ph.D

Marshall H. Kaplan, Ph.D., is a recognized expert in space flight technologies, orbital mechanics and the nature of orbital debris impacts on the space program. He was the first to study space junk retrieval and was instrumental in the safe reentry of the Skylab Space Station in 1979. recently aired a story about his four decades of research on this topic. Dr. Kaplan is one of only a few experts in the field of space debris control and reduction. He is a Visiting Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Maryland and served as Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Kaplan has over four decades of academic and industrial experience and has presented hundreds of courses on space technology and systems. He is the author of several books, including the internationally used text, Modern Spacecraft Dynamics and Control. Dr. Kaplan is a member of the AIAA Technical Committee on Space Transportation and holds advanced degrees from MIT and Stanford University.

Register for the Full Workshop and optional Short Course here.