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Finding 1: Orbital debris travels in a variety of orbits and is affected by various perturbation forces, including the effects of the Earth's atmosphere, gravitational perturbation effects, and solar radiation pressure. As orbital altitude increases, the effect of the atmosphere in accelerating orbital decay becomes small, and typical large objects in orbits higher than approximately 600 km can remain in orbit for tens, hundreds, or even thousands of years.
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U.S. Space Command. 1994. U.S. Space Command Satellite Catalog. Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colorado: U.S. Space Command.
Whitaker, A.F., and L.E. Young. 1991. An overview of the first results on the Solar Array Materials Passive LDEF Experiment (SAMPLE), A0171. P. 1241 in NASA Conference Publication 3134, LDEF-69 Months in Space: Proceedings of the First Post-Retrieval Symposium, Kissimmee, Florida, June 2–8. A.S. Levine, ed. Hampton, Virginia: NASA Langley Research Center.