Dodging Bullets: The Threat of Space Debris to U.S. National Security   [open pdf - 1MB]

"With several hundreds of thousands space debris 'bullets' orbiting the Earth, the U.S. Government enters a high risk environment whenever a satellite is launched into orbit. Because of the United States' dependence on space assets, the threat of space debris should be regarded as any other threat to national security interests. The current U.S. policy towards mitigating space debris will limit the amount of space debris created by the U.S. space industry. However, since there is no 'check and balance' approach or binding authority to ensure that other space faring nations or private industries follow the current United Nations Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines, there is a threat to U.S. national security. The United Nations Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines are voluntary and lack the enforcement mechanisms to effectively ensure compliance across the international industry. A space debris mitigation compliance program within the international community would better protect U.S. national security interests in space. This thesis compares two international groups with compliance measures to explore the compliance framework and the effectiveness of the compliance programs on the impacted industry. The analysis resulted in the development of a recommended model for incorporating compliance measures for the United Nations Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines."

Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/
Media Type:
Help with citations