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

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Ancient Aryan Mummies and Pyramids of China
2014 11 21
After years of controversy and political intrigue, archaeologists using genetic testing have proven that Caucasians roamed China’s Tarim Basin thousands of years before East Asian people arrived. The research, which the Chinese government has appeared to have delayed making public out of concerns of fueling Uighur Muslim separatism in its western-most Xinjiang region, is based on a cache of ancient dried-out ...
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
More News »