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About space debris.

Satellites are an essential part of our modern way of life, we use satellites services every day mostly without realizing it. Interruption of satellite services would have a profound impact on most of the world population. The growing population of space debris is becoming a major challenge for space exploration.

How do space debris spread?

March 12, 2019

Orbital debris are unevenIy distributed in space; the amount of debris varies significantly with altitude. Maximum debris concentrations can be found in low-Earth orbit at altitudes of 600 km to 1600 km. Of the 1,540 live satellites in space, 1,300 active satellites are operating at altitudes of 600 km to […]

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Debris spread over multiple orbital planes over time

March 11, 2019

Satellites and debris orbit around the Earth at a rate of 7 km/second (28,500 km/hour). At these speeds a single collision has potentially disastrous effects. A single satellite or debris collision can convert 1 derelict or failed satellite into 1000+ fragments of debris, each of which in turn present a […]

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What happens when satellites fail?

March 11, 2019

Satellites may fail during their operational life, causing ground communication with them to be degraded or severed entirely. A lost satellite continues to orbit aimlessly in space and presents a risk of collision for other objects. Failures most often occur during the first few months a satellite is in space. […]

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What causes space debris?

March 11, 2019

The term space debris includes launcher bodies, derelict satellites, remnants of space missions or fragments resulting from the collision or explosion of satellites. A single collision or explosion can generate hundreds or thousands of small debris objects. Satellite explosions are generally caused by pressure build-up in propellant tanks or battery […]

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The challenge of space debris

March 11, 2019

The amount of orbital debris of more than 10 cm in diameter has followed an exponential growth curve since 2005, thus supporting the predictions made by Donald Kessler in the 1970s. The relevance of this issue will increase as tracking capabilities (e.g. JSPOC,…) start to include 2 cm debris leading […]

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