FAA Proposes New Rule to Reduce Space Debris Written 25 September 2023

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Computer-generated depiction of space debris as could be seen from high Earth orbit. | Credit: NASA; Wikipedia; Public Domain

UPI reports that SpaceX “launched 22 satellites for its Starlink ‘constellation’ into low-Earth orbit late Saturday night as the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a new rule to reduce space debris from commercial flights.” The FAA said in a statement that limiting debris will “reduce the potential for collisions with spacecraft and satellites to promote a sustainable space environment,” and added, “If left unchecked, the accumulation of orbital debris will increase the risk of collisions and clutter orbits used for human spaceflight and for satellites providing communications, weather and global positioning system services.” The proposed rule “would require companies like SpaceX to dispose of the upper stages of their rockets in one of five ways.” Companies would be “required to either conduct a controlled entry, move the upper stage to a less congested storage or graveyard orbit, send the upper stage on an Earth-escape orbit, remove the upper stage debris within five years in a process called active debris removal, or perform and uncontrolled atmospheric disposal.”
Full Story (UPI)