ABSTRACT

Threats to U.S. National Security Interests in Space: Orbital Debris Mitigation and Removal [January 8, 2014]   [open pdf - 385KB]

"After decades of activities in space, Earth's orbit is littered with man-made objects that no longer serve a useful purpose. This includes roughly 22,000 objects larger than the size of a softball and hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments. This population of space debris potentially threatens U.S. national security interests in space, both governmental (military, intelligence, and civil) and commercial. Congress has broadly supported the full-range of these national security interests and has a vested concern in ensuring a strong and continued U.S. presence in space.After decades of activities in space, Earth's orbit is littered with man-made objects that no longer serve a useful purpose. This includes roughly 22,000 objects larger than the size of a softball and hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments. This population of space debris potentially threatens U.S. national security interests in space, both governmental (military, intelligence, and civil) and commercial. Congress has broadly supported the full-range of these national security interests and has a vested concern in ensuring a strong and continued U.S. presence in space. [...] Congress has an opportunity to explore these issues through hearings, for instance with major stakeholders in the U.S. national security and civil space communities, and the commercial sector. Efforts to find international agreement on mitigation may involve congressional prerogatives on advice and consent, and any program to pursue remediation will likely entail appropriations support from Congress."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43353
Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2014-01-08
Copyright:
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
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