FIGURE 3-2 Cataloged orbital debris. SOURCE: Kaman Sciences Corporation.

tion of cataloged objects; at more than 16,000 km, spacecraft and rocket bodies constitute the majority. This distribution may, however, be due more to the reduced capabilities of Earth-based sensors to detect smaller objects at high altitudes than to any changes in the composition of the debris population. Within the region below 2,000 km, the distribution of cataloged objects by altitude is highly nonuniform, with peaks around 900 to 1,000 km and 1,400 to 1,500 km. Although objects in the lowest-

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement