Satellites must be deorbited within five years of completing missions, FCC rules

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new rules to handle the rising danger of “space junk” or deserted satellites, rockets and different particles. The new “5-year-rule” would require low-Earth operators to deorbit their satellites within five years following the completion of missions. That’s considerably much less time than the earlier guideline of 25 years. 

“But 25 years is a long time,” FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel mentioned in an announcement. “There is no reason to wait that long anymore, especially in low-earth orbit. The second space age is here. For it to continue to grow, we need to do more to clean up after ourselves so space innovation can continue to respond.”

Rosenworcel famous that round 10,000 satellites weighing “thousands of metric tons” have been launched since 1957, with over half of these now defunct. The new rule “will mean more accountability and less risk of collisions that increase orbital debris and the likelihood of space communication failures.”

However, some US representatives do not essentially agree with the choice. Members of the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology mentioned in a letter that such choices are sometimes taken by NASA. By performing unilaterally, the FCC “could create uncertainly and potentially conflicting guidance” for the space business. They requested the FCC to clarify the choice to Congress, saying “this would ensure that procedural measures such as the Congressional Review Act are not necessary.”

NASA has said there are “23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth.” It famous that China’s 2007 anti-satellite check “added more than 3,500 pieces of large, trackable debris and many more smaller debris to the debris problem.”

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