Since more than 20 years reorbiting of geostationary satellites at the end of their mission is recommended and partially performed to protect the GEO environment. Now a worldwide accepted reorbiting altitude was defined by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). Still only one-third of the aging satellites follow this IADC rule. Based on orbital data in the DISCOS database, the situation in the geostationary ring is analyzed. From 878 known objects, 305 are controlled inside their longitude slots, 353 are drifting above, below or through GEO, and 125 are in a libration orbit (status of January 2001). In the last four years (1997–2000) 58 spacecraft reached end-of-life. Twenty of them were reorbited in compliance with the IADC recommendations, 16 were reorbited below this recommendation and 22 were abandoned without any end-of-life disposal manoeuvre.
Space Debris – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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