From down here on the ground, space looks like a pristine void. But Earth's orbit is actually crowded with a ton of stuff, from human-made satellites to many smaller pieces of debris whirling around at dangerously high speeds, as the film Gravity so memorably dramatized. In fact, there are an estimated 500,000 or so smaller orbital debris (between one and 10 centimeters in diameter) and about 21,000 larger bits (larger than 10 centimeters) spinning around Earth right now, according to NASA's Orbital Debris Program Office.


There's a cooler version of this from Trimble or something like that whose name I always forget. I just tried to find it in my passwords and what I came up with is, which I think you need a DoD clearance for (I remember getting the TLE data was a bitch). francopoli which is the one I'm thinking of?

posted by thenewgreen: 971 days ago