- The Kessler syndrome (also called the Kessler effect, collisional cascading, or ablation cascade), proposed by NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a theoretical scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) due to space pollution is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade in which each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions.
- One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space activities and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges difficult for many generations.
How can Kessler Syndrome be avoided?
- The successful ‘passivation’ of all spacecraft, which would limit on-orbit breakups, and the widespread, i.e. more than 90%, adoption of effective disposal strategies at the end of missions would contribute to containing the growth of space debris.
- Clean Space by cutting debris production from future space missions.
- Then an urgent need to reduce the total mass of current debris, such as the robotic salvage of derelict satellites.
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