Confronting Space Debris Strategies and Warnings from Comparable Examples Including Deepwater Horizon

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2011-01-16
  • Publisher: RAND Corporation
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Orbital debris represents a growing threat to the operation of man-made systems in space. There are currently hundreds of thousands of debris objects greater than one centimeter in diameter in Earth's orbit, and the collision of any one of these objects with an operational satellite would cause catastrophic failure of that satellite. The authors identified a set of comparable problems that share similarities with orbital debris and narrowed this set down to the following nine issues: acid rain, U.S. commercial airline security, asbestos, chlorofluorocarbons, hazardous waste, oil spills, radon, email spam, and U.S. border control. This monograph provides context and insight for decisionmakers by asking the following questions: How have other industries approached their Ɠorbital debris-likeƶ risks? What lessons can be learned from these cases before proceeding with debris mitigation or remediation measures? Findings are drawn from practical examples that include the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the results of which emphasized that remedies must be designed and tested to work under the actual operating conditions. Book jacket.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. iii
Figuresp. ix
Tablesp. xi
Summaryp. xiii
Acknowledgmentsp. xxv
Abbreviationsp. xxvii
Introduction: The Problem of Orbital Debrisp. 1
What Is Orbital Debris?p. 1
Objectivep. 3
Methodologyp. 5
Comparable Problems and Identifying Characteristicsp. 9
Nomenclaturep. 13
Mitigation and Remediationp. 13
A Framework for Addressing Orbital Debris and the Comparable Problemsp. 15
Frameworkp. 15
Progressing Through the Stagesp. 18
Incorporating the Concept of Riskp. 18
Describing Additional Levels of Complexityp. 21
Analysis: Comparing the Timeline of Orbital Debris with the Timelines of the Comparable Problemsp. 23
Relative Timelinesp. 23
Mitigation Strategies and Their Use in Other Communitiesp. 27
What Is Mitigation?p. 27
Describing the Stakeholder Communityp. 28
Describing the Orbital Debris Communityp. 31
Approaches to Mitigationp. 32
Command/Control Approachesp. 33
Market-Based Approachesp. 34
Performance-Based Approachesp. 35
Practical Examples of Mitigationp. 35
Airline Securityp. 35
Radonp. 38
Acid Rainp. 40
Remedies and Their Use in Other Communitiesp. 45
What Is Remediation?p. 45
Types of Remediationp. 45
Relocation Versus Eliminationp. 46
Tatgeted Versus Dragnetp. 46
The Role of Technologyp. 47
Case Study: Deepwater Horizon (Gulf Of Mexico) Oil Spillp. 50
Remediation Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Spillp. 55
Summarizing Observationsp. 59
General Observationsp. 59
The Case for Additional Mitigationp. 61
The Case for Developing Remediation Technologyp. 63
A Brief Overview of Orbital Debris and the Comparable Problemsp. 67
The Descriptive Framework Applied to Orbital Debris and the Comparablesp. 69
Bibliographyp. 91
Works Consulted for Timelinesp. 97
Indexp. 121
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