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Orbital cascade: Kessler syndrome February 15, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Interesting to read of this near miss between two satellites in orbit around the Earth.

There’s a theory, here, the Kessler syndrome which posits that:

…the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) due to the space pollution is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade in which each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions.[3] One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space activities and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges difficult for many generations.[3]

There have been a fair number of appearances of the syndrome in fiction, not least in the memorable, though not exactly cheering, opening sequence of the film Gravity.


1. Dermot M O Connor - February 15, 2020

Big risk would be the ISS. Catastrophic failure of a docking to ISS (as happened with the Mir station / Soyuz docking that wrecked the Spektr module) would be the kind of scenario that could wreck things quickly. ISS is also in the ‘international’ orbit, so the debris field would be, well, international.

New new SpaceX craft will be docking a manned mission to the ISS. They’ve already had one of those explode on the pad. The new Starliner isn’t too sharp either.

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