Category talk:Derelict satellites orbiting Earth

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Category rationale[edit]

This category was created in February 2011 as a result of a discussion on Wikipedia:WikiProject Spaceflight here.

The idea was to create a category that would include derelict satellites that are still in orbit, and thus present a challenge or potential problem for other Earth-orbiting satellites, as they use up some of the common resource space "real estate" and thus create externalities for others who are attempting to utilize space, especially near-Earth orbital space. This is much more specific to manmade objects (satellites, spacecraft and spent upper stages) than the term space debris, which discusses all space debris more generally. N2e (talk) 22:16, 13 February 2011 (UTC)

Helpful links[edit]

Here are some potentially helpful links, recently added by User:Wavelength to another Talk page. Cheers. N2e (talk) 14:43, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Here are some external links to pages with information about space debris.
Wavelength (talk) 20:05, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
You may be interested in the following online reference desks (all hosted by NASA), especially the first one.
Wavelength (talk) 15:48, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Other sats[edit]

Early Keyhole satellites (Big Bird) are decommissioned and probably should have a cat changed. I sure there are others. I see what I can find. out.LanceBarber (talk) 07:49, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi, thanks for the input. I think it is highly unlikely that Big Bird (satellite) is still in orbit, as a derelict. Since it had to drop film canisters off periodically to get photographic data to Earth, it would have flown in such a low Earth orbit as to have decayed and re-entered many years ago. But the help is appreciated; there are hundreds of derelicts that are not yet identified within Wikipedia. N2e (talk) 16:21, 8 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm back editing now, and will do some more research. Did find out that there about 20 Big Birds put up there. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2038423/Top-secret-surveillance-satellite-Big-Bird-goes-public-viewing.html ... more later, LanceBarber (talk) 20:14, 18 July 2012 (UTC) "Because it did not require film, the KH-11 could stay in orbit for an extended period of time—from three to five years vs. the maximum of 275 days for the KH-9. It operated in a higher orbit that did not suffer the effects of atmospheric drag as much as the KH-9." http://www.thespacereview.com/article/1785/2 ...LanceBarber (talk) 20:41, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Good to have your help, Lance. Yes, comparatively, the BigBirds did suffer much less atmospheric drag, sufficiently low so the anticipated duration was several years rather than mere weeks for the earlier KH-9. However, still quite unlikely to be derelict today, many many years after their operational life, with only a 3-5 year projected life.
However, really appreciate your eyes on this topic. There truly is a lot of manmade derelict spacecraft out there, adding to the space debris issue in Earth-orbit. N2e (talk) 02:46, 27 August 2012 (UTC)