Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Duncan Steel on orbital debris

Last week I attended a seminar on orbital debris by Duncan Steel from QinetiQ. Of course we talked about the recent collision between the Iridium and the Kosmos .... Duncan showed some very interesting simulations of how debris disperses over time, and also said that the data from the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF), which was launched in 1984 and retrieved in 1990 so that the impacts on its materials could be assessed, had never been really systematically analysed taking into account all factors of the space environment. He was also very skeptical about the various proposals to remove debris actually happening any time soon. Which is kind of good for me!

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