Broadcast 736 (Special Edition)

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

The Space Foundation Conference

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Nicholas Johnson, Chief Scientist for Orbital Debris at the NASA Johnson Space Center was the guest for this program. Have you ever wondered about orbital debris? Is your understanding and knowledge base about the subject short on real facts? Do you know the real risks with orbital debris for robotics, the manned program, space tourism? These and other questions are answered in detail on this show. Based on listener questions as well as information Nick shared with us, we talked about how the debris is located, tracked, measured, and more. We talked about high debris fields, areas where there is less debris, debris collisions, and mitigation efforts. For example, is there technology that would allow us to zap a piece of debris before it created a problem? We talked about the debris field caused by the recent Chinese ASAT test, a test which caused the largest debris cloud in space ever! International cooperation was part of our discussion as were treaties, space policy and policy makers, businesses big and small, and other national space agencies. We also talked about making hardware today with debris mitigation as part of the planning. This includes carefully choosing materials, orbits, other items. We even discussed the type of computer power used to track the debris and handle the problem. Based on a listener question early in the show, we discussed commercial opportunities for debris removal, ownership of space debris, even possibly collecting some of it to sell on eBay. This is a comprehensive discussion on space debris. Its factual, its leading edge, it will answer your questions. We even talk about astronauts getting hit by debris on a space walk, orbit decays and so much more. I urge you to visit the NASA orbital debris website at http://www.orbitaldebris.jsc.nasa.gov/. While at this site, make sure you see the orbital debris models for the Earth to the right side for LEO, GEO, and Polar debris views. I also urge listeners to subscribe to the free NASA orbital debris newsletter. Check it out. I've subscribed to it. Click on Contact and you will see how to get in touch with Nick Johnson if you have further comments and questions for him. His email address is nicholas.l.johnson@nasa.gov.

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21 Jun 2007 Nicholas Johnson
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  • The Space Foundation Conference

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  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference

  • The Space Foundation Conference