In this journal, 'space debris' usually carries implications of aerospace activities, but it was not always thus. Humankind has been concerned with sky debris (often not knowing it was that) since eyes were turned skyward. Before space exploration began, astronomers specialized in comet tails, asteroids, meteorites, aurorae and zodiacal light. It was inevitable that they stay near the forefront of the new space technologies, even before Explorer I explained the aurorae. Now, the emphasis is on manmade debris, for the simple reason that an astronomical experiment proved that to be the preponderant component of the total debris environment. We present here a review survey of the total near-Earth debris complex, artificial and cosmic. Our goal is three-fold: (1) To detail to both astronomers and spaceflight specialists the long and heavy astronomical activity, (2) to give an overview of what has been and is being done, and (3) to suggest some possible directions for the future.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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