Which country is more debris in space, how many new fragments have appeared over the past year in orbit? These questions answered, the specialists of the parent enterprise FSUE TsNIIMash, summing up the interim results of 2016.
So, in July 2016, according to the staff of laboratory of complex research of problems of prevention of technogenic pollution of circumterrestrial space, the total number of space debris objects located in space and cataloged in the complex databases of the Automated system warning of dangerous situations in near-earth space (ASPOS GST) is 16 thousand 304. It’s on 524 object more than there were in July of last year (http://www.aspos.mcc.rsa.ru).
First place in the number of cataloged space debris in space is Russia, with 6218 debris objects (KM), is in second place with objects 5115 KM, China is in third place with 3622 objects KM.
The total mass of the objects currently in outer space is estimated at 7,000 tons and the existing spacecraft have of them is little — about seven percent, the rest is space debris, which, as you know, are all earth-orbiting space objects of artificial origin, who finished their active functioning of the meteorite to space debris are not).
Space debris orbits at a speed of 3-7. 5 km/s and is a danger to operating spacecraft. Even a small grain of sand can cause harm to the spacecraft and systems that bring them down. For example, last, 2015, there have been four of the evasive maneuvers of the International space station from man-made space objects.
On 26 July and 27 September 2015 the ISS had to make two evasive maneuver to avoid space debris. The orbit of the station was corrected. The first time I had to Dodge wreckage of a SPACECRAFT (SC) Iridium-33, which appeared after the collision the SPACECRAFT Iridium-33 and Cosmos SPACECRAFT in February 2009. The second evasion was caused by the appearance in the vicinity of the ISS of two potentially hazardous fragments: fragments of HAPS stage of the launch vehicle, Pegasus, which arose after the explosion of HAPS in June 1996, and chip Chinese meteorological satellite, “Fengyun-1C”, appeared in orbit after the test of the Chinese anti-satellite system in January 2007.
September 3, 2015 the Russian space ship Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft flying to the ISS, made an evasive maneuver from a fragment of a Japanese launch vehicle. In the path of the spacecraft turned out to be a fragment of the spent third stage of the Japanese rocket launched in 1989. In order to avoid collision, a joint work of ballistics for the Russian mission control Center and their American counterparts. Was held safe discrepancy with the facility and staff mission of the Soyuz TMA-18M at the ISS continued.
16 July 2015, according to NASA, the ISS was approaching the fragment of KM. According to the Russian MCC information about KM appeared suddenly, didn’t have time to carry out the operation for the correction of the ISS orbit and the crew as a precaution moved to the docked to the ISS on Russian Soyuz spacecraft. A fragment of KM, threatening a collision with the ISS, flew past the space station and after receiving the command from MCC to the crew was allowed to return to the ISS from the Soyuz spacecraft.
Space command United States air force 27 February 2015 no recorded radio communication with a meteorological satellite, DMSP-13. In a preliminary analysis published in April 2015, it is established that the SPACECRAFT DMSP-13 out of order as a result of explosion on one of the batteries. The explosion occurred at high altitude and the debris from the satellite will remain in orbit for many years. The SPACECRAFT DMSP-13 149 formed of fragments of space debris.
While the main protection of space objects from space debris are their own screens, the use of special resistant coatings, which increases the manufacturing cost of the spacecraft by about 20 %.
The problem of disposal of space debris objects with the use of specialized spacecraft is a long time. Now there are proposals to catch large fragments of the robotic manipulator, net, harpoon, there are non-contact methods: destruction of the wreckage of a SPACECRAFT with a laser or ion beam. However, with regard to the capture of pieces of debris smaller than 10 centimeters, this is a more difficult task, for which so far no specific decision has not been made. Now only the possibility of creating the laser traps, the clouds of dense medium for braking small particles.