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
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
Chess-playing computers may cause the robot apocalypse
2014 04 23
Sore-loser chess programs might be the end of us all...
In the movie The Terminator, we heard the human side of the story of Judgment Day, with the machines getting smart and seeing us as a threat. It wasn’t until the sequel that we heard the tale from the machine’s point of view, as it chose to start World War III ...
Archeologists’ findings may prove Rome a century older than thought
2014 04 23
It is already known as the eternal city, and if new archeological findings prove correct Rome may turn out to be even more so than believed until now.
Next week, the city will celebrate its official, 2,767th birthday. According to a tradition going back to classic times, the brothers Romulus and Remus founded the city on 21 April in the year ...
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
2014 04 23
A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied.
"I can’t speak for other MPs, but I’ve had many, many calls over the past eight years about chemtrails. And these questions are not so easy to answer," ...
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound
2014 04 23
If it quacks like a duck... it’s not always a duck.
Scientists have reportedly gotten to the bottom of the mysterious ’Bio-Duck’ sound in the Antarctic.
Here’s a recording of the strange sound (it’s kind of a stretch to say it sounds like a duck, but who are we to second guess the biologists?).
Mystery of Bizarre Duck-Like Ocean Sound Solved
By Tanya Lewis ...
’Extreme’ Carbon Dioxide Reduction will be a Death Sentence for Humanity & Planet Earth
2014 04 23
If we allow a fraudulent pseudo-environmentalist cult to control every aspect of our lives then our children are doomed to a totalitarian existence which Stalin could only have dreamed of.
“The common enemy of humanity is man.
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine ...
|More News » |