The Out Box 03-10

A New Perspective on NextGen ...
A New Perspective on NextGen ...
Later this month, a rather elite group of engineers and scientists will gather in Amsterdam to discuss “near space security.” Their concern: the skies are getting crowded. These aren’t the fabled “friendly skies” inhabited by airliners, business jets, sport aviators and birds; this is that higher strip of atmosphere where more than 1,000 satellites orbit - and sometimes roam off course. That’s apparently what happened on February 10, 2009, when a US and a Russian satellite collided a little less than 500 miles above Siberia. Most of the resulting debris is still floating around up there, creating what in maritime circles would be called “hazards to navigation.” The flotsam from Cosmos is of a little more concern because it is closer to the earth; the bits of Iridium went into a higher orbit.

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