FIGURE 7.1 Snapshot of debris larger than 10 cm in low Earth orbit on May 1, 2001. SOURCE: Hugh Lewis, University of Southampton.


climate of the space environment. Growth in the number of space weather customers since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiated a customer subscription service in 2004 (Figure 7.2) is another important indicator of the increasing U.S. need for monitoring and characterization of space weather. Moreover, the number of customers has been growing rapidly despite the deep and long-lasting solar minimum for much of the time period shown.

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