constantly changing, updates should be made consistent with major changes in the environment and with enhanced understanding of environmental features. Debris-shape characterization is ongoing within NASA, and some rudimentary information is to be included in the forthcoming ORDEM update. This information is important because there is significant shape variation among larger particles, where criticality for human-rated spacecraft is defined relative to mission failure or crew loss, and not just in terms of whether there is impact damage.

The update to ORDEM2000, known as ORDEM 3.0 (formerly referred to as ORDEM 2010), is slated to include a definition of the environment past LEO, an explicit characterization of orbital debris flux uncertainties, and the introduction of material densities into the model.

Recommendation: NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office should release the next version of the Orbital Debris Environment Model as soon as possible and provide updates on a regular basis or as often as required as a result of major changes to the orbital debris environment or improved characterization of that environment, including characterization of debris shape, as applicable.



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