30 Sep '12, 11am

#SPECIAL OPERATIONS: Tracking The Tiny Terrors

September 30, 2012: The U.S. Air Force is spending nearly $4 billion to build a S-Band radar on Kwajalein Island in the Pacific. This will make it easier and cheaper to find and track small (down to 10mm/.4 inch) objects in orbit around the planet. Such small objects are a growing threat and Space Fence will make it possible to track some 300,000 10mm and larger objects in orbit. Getting hit by an object 100mm (4 inch wide), if it’s coming from the opposite direction in orbit, results in an explosion equivalent to 20 kg (66 pounds) of TNT. That's all because of the high speed (7 kilometers a second, versus one kilometers a second for high-powered rifles) of objects in orbit. Even a 10mm object hits with the impact of 50-60 g (2 ounces) of explosives. In the last 16 years eight space satellites have been destroyed by collisions with one of the 300,000 lethal (10mm or larger...

Full article: http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htsf/articles/20120930.aspx

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