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Proceedings Paper

Identification and resolution of an orbital debris problem with the proton launch vehicle
Author(s): B. V. Cherniatiev; Grigorii M. Chernyavskiy; Nicholas L. Johnson; Darren S. McKnight
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Paper Abstract

On at least six occasions during 1983-1992, operational debris released from the fourth stage of Russian Proton launch vehicles fragmented, creating up to 60 new trackable debris in Earth orbit after each event. Surprisingly, these fragmentations occurred 18 - 96 months following successful Proton missions. One month after the fifth incident in September, 1992, an international investigation employing American space surveillance data and analyses and Russian engineering knowledge determined the probable cause of the satellite breakups. Preventive measures are now being developed for future Proton flights. The unprecedented Russian-American cooperation leading to the resolution of this environmental issue should serve as a model for future investigations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 September 1993
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1951, Space Debris Detection and Mitigation, (15 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156549
Show Author Affiliations
B. V. Cherniatiev, Energiya Scientific Production Association (Russia)
Grigorii M. Chernyavskiy, Center for Program Studies (Russia)
Nicholas L. Johnson, Kaman Sciences Corp. (United States)
Darren S. McKnight, Kaman Sciences Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1951:
Space Debris Detection and Mitigation
Firooz A. Allahdadi, Editor(s)

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