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Re^20: "Practices and Principles" to death

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Apr 08, 2008 at 23:54 UTC ( #679110=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^19: "Practices and Principles" to death
in thread "Practices and Principles" to death

Where do I start?

I've never said that it is easy to dodge all space debris. What I've repeatedly said is that any individual known piece of space debris is easy to dodge. Which is true. I've also said that dodging an individual piece of debris is easier than removing it. Which is true. I've also said that collecting debris is easier than deorbiting it. Which is true for all but a handful of large pieces. And that handful is, of course, easy to dodge.

Of course this leaves the huge problems of debris you don't know about. It also ignores the scaling issue, which results from the fact that n satellites and m pieces of debris results in nm combinations that you have to keep track of. And you also have the problem that debris can hit debris, creating more debris.

And the Molinya orbit is a red herring if your aim is to arrange for low speed collisions with debris. (Which is what you were proposing it for.) Sure, your orbits intersect, but at the point of intersection your relative velocity is large. If you just want to intersect debris, then the Molinya orbit is not a bad idea. However you have the huge problem that a high speed impact between a solid object and debris is an event that is very, very likely to result in more orbiting debris, not less. If the solid object is a retired space shuttle, then I guarantee that you'll increase debris, not decrease it. While plenty of other objections can be leveled, that one alone is a deal breaker.

That looks like it addresses all of your points. Did I add any information I hadn't already provided? Unfortunately not. If you come up with another reply which is completely addressed by points I've already made repeatedly, I won't bother replying again.

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