A New Grading System Could Deter Satellite Operators From Polluting #Space

New York (The Verge) — A new grading system could deter satellite operators from junking up space theverge.com/2019/5/7/18532….

As aerospace companies vow to fill Earth’s orbit with thousands of new satellites over the next decade, industry experts say it’s time to grade these operators on their efforts to keep space a safe and sustainable place. A rating system could keep companies honest, and ensure that Earth orbit remains open for business and doesn’t become bogged down with excess satellites and debris.

A rating system could keep companies honest, and ensure that Earth orbit remains open for business and doesn’t become bogged down with excess satellites and debris.

Right now, there are nearly 2,000 operational satellites in orbit, according to the European Space Agency, and agencies are tracking more than 22,000 pieces of debris. But companies like SpaceX, OneWeb, and Amazon have proposed adding giant new constellations of satellites in space, numbering in the hundreds or thousands. As the number of satellites in orbit around Earth grows, the risk of these vehicles colliding will invariably go up, too. Those impacts could create hundreds of pieces of debris that threaten other functioning spacecraft. Loren Grush/@verge

Source: verge, full story

 

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