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Space Debris Map

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Last Updated: 02 July 2021

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Looking up at the clear night sky, we see dark heavens sprinkled with starlight. But those twinkling white dots are not all celestial bodies. In 2015, for example, team of researchers noticed something that at first appeared to be an asteroid. They launch a ground-base observational campaign to identify object, using recording of light curves, which measure the brightness of astronomical object over TIME. Researchers found that the object was actually a piece of Snoopy, missing Apollo 10 lunar module, which was classified as WT1190F. WT1190F is just one of many, many pieces of space junk orbiting our planet. Space junk is defined as anything artificial that clogs up space near Earth, including defunct satellites and rocket stages, as well as smaller objects such as solar panels, antennas, and even chips of paint. According to the US Strategic Command database, Earth is orbited by more than 20 000 pieces of debris larger than a softball and about 100 000 pieces larger than a penny. Carolin Frueh, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University, was one of the researchers observing WT1190F and has continued researching Space Debris and ways to track it. With funding sources like the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NASA, Frueh and a team of researchers from Purdue have been developing identification methods that rely on astrodynamics, study of motion of artificial bodies moving under the influence of Gravity. Fruehs team uses optical data from light curves as well as simple and complex mathematical models. Frueh and her team are identifying space debris to diagnose satellite integrity and assess the danger debris can cause to other satellites and the threat it could potentially pose to Earth. As rule of thumb, Frueh say, anything thats smaller than 2 tons in weight usually burns up. If we were to have too much debris, we wouldnt be able to operate our satellites anymore. The bigger danger posed by Space Debris, Frueh say, is to functioning satellites, including those dedicated to GPS, weather forecasts, and information and communications technologies. If we were to have too much debris, Frueh say, we wouldnt be able to operate our satellites anymore. This fog or belt of space debris might not lead the US to a catastrophic series of events explained by Kessler syndrome, also known as collisional cascadingwhich, was illustrated in 2013 Alfonso Cuaron movie Gravity, where each collision between space objects can generate further debris that could generate further collisions. However, collisions between space debris and satellites are not just cinematic. In 2007, piece of micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris particle hit Space shuttle Endeavour s radiator during one of its missions, and in 2013, Russian Ball Lens in Space nanosatellite was hit by a fragment of satellite that China had intentionally destroyed in 2007.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions.

* Please keep in mind that all text is machine-generated, we do not bear any responsibility, and you should always get advice from professionals before taking any actions

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