U.S. general urges world war on space debris
2010 01 28

By Dan Williams | Reuters.com


World powers must find ways to reduce the amount of debris in orbit, as the collision risk it poses to spacecraft is increasing, the head of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Wednesday.

Air Force General Kevin Chilton, a former astronaut, told an Israeli audience that the United States has catalogued more than 15,000 items such as jettisoned rockets, shuttle detritus, and bits of destroyed satellites currently floating in space.

"The estimation is that these numbers could grow upward of 50,000 in total numbers in the not-too-distant future," he said, adding that this could make low-earth orbit "uninhabitable to man or machine".

The amount of debris has increased exponentially, according to Chilton, due to events like China's 2007 shooting down of a defunct satellite, and last year's collision of an old Russian military satellite and a telecoms satellite owned by Iridium.

In what was widely seen as an effort to achieve parity with China, the United States in 2008 blew up a target satellite using the Aegis missile interceptor. The Aegis is now the backbone of a planned U.S. ballistic shield for Eastern Europe.

Chilton said the increasing clutter raised the spectre of a "cascade" whereby debris causes collisions, which in turn creates more debris.

Chilton said major powers should agree on a "responsible space operation", improve their spacecraft to keep debris to a minimum, and share data on possible risks.

"The U.S. has quite an extensive array of sensors ... but even that is not enough," he said in his address to the Fisher Institute for Air & Space Strategic Studies, near Tel Aviv.

"We need to improve our space surveillance capabilities." But Chilton made clear that, for now, containment was the only option, in the absence of a means of elimination.

"Today, the way we eliminate space debris is we wait for it to come down" and burn up on reentry through the atmosphere, he said.

Chilton, whose responsibilities include ballistic missile defence and cyber warfare as well as space operations, spent three days in Israel, an aide said.

As well as visiting academic forums, he held talks with researchers at Israel's Defence Ministry, an official involved in the visit said, without giving details.

Article from: Reuters.com




Video from: YouTube.com



Image: Source



Related Articles
Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies
India loses Moon satellite links
Who Needs Spy Satellites? Google Earth Pinpoints Where Missile Targeted Taliban
Virgin Goes Galactic With Satellites
North Korea warns of war if 'satellite' is shot down
U.S. And Russian Satellites Collide
Iran launches satellite carrier
Spy Satellite Blast, Caught on Tape (Video)
U.S. may shoot at satellite later Wednesday
Operation Rogue Satellite: The Latest
Atlas 5 Rocket Launches Classified U.S. Satellite
Space debris: evolution in pictures


Latest News from our Front Page

Sand Pirates: ISIS Are America’s 21st Century Terrorist Privateers
2014 11 01
What is ISIS? If you believe govt and corporate propaganda, you still think that ISIS is a grassroots Islamic ideological movement ¨C and with no connection to intelligence agencies like America¡¯s CIA, Britain¡¯s MI6, Turkish (NATO) intelligence, Saudi intelligence, Israeli intelligence, or Pakistan¡¯s ISI. The reality of ISIS is something altogether different¡­ On closer inspection, these marauding paramilitary ISIS gangs are nothing ...
Ancient Stone Circles in Mideast Baffle Archaeologists
2014 11 01
Huge stone circles in the Middle East have been imaged from above, revealing details of structures that have been shrouded in mystery for decades. The Big Circle called J1 is about 390 meters (1,280 feet) in diameter, with an open area created by bulldozing in its interior. Credit: David L. Kennedy, copyright is retained by the Aerial Photographic Archive for Archaeology ...
Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset
2014 10 31
Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador from Stockholm. The move by Sweden’s new left-leaning government reflects growing international impatience with Israel’s nearly half-century control of the West Bank, east Jerusalem and its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also comes during increased ...
Fed-Backed Study: How to Brainwash Public into Fearing “Climate Change” Like Ebola
2014 10 31
$84K study seeks ways to make public fear "climate change and overpopulation" The National Science Foundation is funding a study to determine how to brainwash the public into fearing “climate change and overpopulation” as if they were Ebola. The NSF awarded an $84,000 grant to researchers at the State University of New York at Buffalo yesterday to figure out how to make ...
Brain decoder can eavesdrop on your inner voice
2014 10 31
As you read this, your neurons are firing – that brain activity can now be decoded to reveal the silent words in your head TALKING to yourself used to be a strictly private pastime. That’s no longer the case – researchers have eavesdropped on our internal monologue for the first time. The achievement is a step towards helping people who cannot ...
More News »