Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Space Industry and Business News .




TECH SPACE
Will 'space junk' problem intensify?
by Boris Pavlischev for Voice of Russia
Moscow (Voice of Russia) Aug 21, 2013


The Space Fence can detect space objects as small as 10 cm (four inches) in diameter and thousands of larger objects, including lots space debris circling our planet and posing a serious threat to satellites and the ISS. The latter receives warnings from Earth, which enable it to maneuver to avoid collisions with space junk.

The United States is planning to shut down a key component of its space surveillance network that tracks satellites and "space junk" orbiting the Earth. As a result, satellite launches and flights to the International Space Station (ISS) may involve a higher degree of risk.

The Air Force Space Surveillance System known as Space Fence consists of three two-mile-long transmitter antennae and six receivers in the south of the country. It has been scanning the near-earth space for any orbital objects flying over America since the 1960s.

The Air Force Command has decided not to prolong a contract with the system's current operator. The company has until October 1 to remove its staff from all of the Space Fence facilities, at which point are going to be switched off. So far, it's unclear whether the system will be dismantled.

The Space Fence can detect space objects as small as 10 cm (four inches) in diameter and thousands of larger objects, including lots space debris circling our planet and posing a serious threat to satellites and the ISS. The latter receives warnings from Earth, which enable it to maneuver to avoid collisions with space junk.

The system's shutdown is unlikely to affect the ISS crew as other systems will start watching the orbit more thoroughly, Yuri Karash, a US-trained space expert and journalist and a corresponding member of Russia's Tsiolkovsky Academy of Cosmonautics, said in an interview. Russia will share its orbit surveillance data with the United States, he said, as in all that concerns crew safety the Russian and US interests overlap.

"Russia has the Okno ["window"] system whose key component is deployed in Central Asia. Also, there are similar systems within NASA's competency framework. So, I am absolutely sure that the closure of the Space Fence will not cause any potential threats to the ISS crew.

Igor Afanasyev, editor at the News of Cosmonautics magazine, drew attention to some peculiarities of the Space Fence.

"Whatever they say about the 'fence', the main advantage of this system is that it tracks objects at heights of up to 24,000 km, while the ISS has a significantly lower orbit. The other systems scan the near-Erath space within a radius of up to 1,000 km. So, I see no reason why the risk should increase," he told a VoR correspondent.

Not all experts share his view. Mike Coletta, the owner of the satwatch.org website, notes that the Space Fence requires no selective targeting. Its radars operate round the clock, detecting any object within their field of vision.

The system has made it possible to locate many pieces of the space rubble resulting from two incidents that led to a sharp increase in space junk - an anti-satellite weapon test by China in 2007 and a collision of a Russian and US satellites in 2009.

With the Space Fence out of service, it will be harder to predict the trajectories for space junk, particularly in the "busy" orbits used by the ISS.

The US Air Force Command has blamed the Space Fence shutdown on the sequestration, an argument that doesn't sound convincing, given the modest $14 million in annual allocations for the system.

Experts at the Rand Corporation believe that all that talk of the Space Fence closure is nothing more than an attempt by the industrial lobby to press Congress and the Pentagon into approving $3 billion in funds for a space surveillance network of a new generation.

Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have reportedly been entrusted to design the new system, which may be put into service in 2017.

However, with the space junk problem looming large, there still is a chance of preserving the Space Fence. Maybe, the military should follow the advice of UniverseToday.com and just go hat in hand to try to raise $14 million?

Voice of Russia

.


Related Links
Russian Space Agency
Space Technology News - Applications and Research






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TECH SPACE
US Lawmaker Seeks to Partner with Russia to Clean Up Space
San Jose CA (RIA Novosti) Jul 31, 2013
A prominent US lawmaker and advocate of the United States' role in space told a conference on the commercialization of space that the US and Russia should team up for extraterrestrial projects - and suggested they start by cleaning up the hundreds of thousands of pieces of manmade space litter and capturing and deflecting asteroids hurtling toward Earth. "Now that Russia is no longer a com ... read more


TECH SPACE
Will 'space junk' problem intensify?

Space station astronauts to be provided with 3-D printer to make parts

Advancing resistive memory to improve portable electronics

ORNL superconducting wire yields unprecedented performance

TECH SPACE
New Military Communications Satellite Built By Lockheed Martin Launches

US Navy Poised to Launch Lockheed Martin-Built Secure Communications Satellite for Mobile Users

Northrop Grumman Moves New B-2 Satellite Communications Concept to the High Ground

Canada links up on secure U.S. military telecoms network

TECH SPACE
Lockheed Martin Selects CubeSat Integrators for Athena to Enhance Launch Systems Integration

Russia to resume Proton-M rocket launches in mid-September

Roscosmos denies plans to launch Proton rocket from Baikonur on Sept 15

SpaceX rocket launches, steers and lands in test

TECH SPACE
Satellite tracking of zebra migrations in Africa is conservation aid

'Spoofing' attack test takes over ship's GPS navigation at sea

Orbcomm Globaltrak Completes Shipment Of Fuel Monitoring Solution In Afghanistan

Lockheed Martin GPS III Satellite Prototype To Help Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Prep For Launch

TECH SPACE
Russia sells Vietnam 12 Sukhoi fighters: report

US bomber crashes in Montana

Study finds brain lesions in spy plane pilots

Report: EADS dropped from $7.3 bn S. Korea jet fighter bid

TECH SPACE
Scientists Find Asymmetry in Topological Insulators

Speed limit set for ultrafast electrical switch

NRL Researchers Discover Novel Material for Cooling of Electronic Devices

Nanotechnology breakthrough is big deal for electronics

TECH SPACE
Thai villagers mistake Google worker for government snoop

Norway says no to Apple request to photograph Oslo for 3-D maps

Africa's ups and downs

Lockheed Completes Solar UV Imager For GOES-R Enviro Tests

TECH SPACE
China, US, Qatar singled out on 'Earth Overshoot Day'

Following marine oil leakage, Thailand tightens regulations

Canadian railway refuses to pay for disaster clean-up

Simulating flow from volcanoes and oil spills




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement