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Safety in Space

Warning Automated System of Hazardous Situations in near-Earth Space (NES ASPOS) has been launched at MCC to implement the Russian Federal Space Program. Its intended purpose is to ensure mission safety in near-Earth orbits under orbital debris mitigation (including anthropogenic pollution).

The System controls near-Earth space (NES), collects and processes data on more than 10-20 cm space objects, as well as analyses and forecasts the situation in NES to ensure safety.

  • warn against dangerous collisions in NES and uncontrolled deorbiting of spacecraft;
  • track deorbiting of space objects ceasing to exist in Earth orbit, and determine the time and possible area of its ground impact;
  • ensure safe near-Earth orbiting of all spacecraft of the Russian orbital group;
  • identify all dangerous approaches for active Russian spacecraft and provide such service for foreign commercial satellites.

Currently, over sixty states, international organizations and large satellite companies own and operate spacecraft. At the same time, there is a continuous increase in the number of participants in space activities.

As a result of such vigorous actions in NES there is a large number of anthropogenic substances, mostly – so called «space debris» - accomplishing its mission spacecraft, launch vehicle stages and boosters, launch operational elements, fragmentations of rocket and space technology objects and their parts, particles of anthropogenic substances in the orbits of Earth satellites. Most of the space debris objects, especially in the low-Earth orbits with altitudes up to 2000 km, are fragmentations of spacecraft and launch vehicle stages, resulting from the explosions and collisions of these objects in orbits. Uncontrolled deorbiting of large space objects poses a great threat to humanity, as far as having reached the Earth's surface those objects can cause significant damage and lead to casualties among the population in the areas of their ground impact.

The NES ASPOS system has been developed and improved to minimize the threats of near-Earth space debris.

In addition to ballistics and monitoring of the situation in near-Earth space, the NES ASPOS system collects, processes and transfers information on solar and geomagnetic activity, including warnings against rapid changes in the basic parameters of space weather used when estimating the impact on onboard equipment and ballistic calculations.

The data obtained by the NES ASPOS system are stored in the main information and analytical center (MIAC) of the system, sent at the request of consumers and published in regular reviews of events in near-Earth space.

Currently, the Automated system is undergoing significant improvements due to the introduction of new specialized optoelectronic means of observing space objects, software and hardware maintenance and new software development to solve large-scale system tasks. The information exchange with data sources in the country and abroad concerning space objects and the situation in near-Earth space is being developed at a high rate, and the System’s ability to deliver current information to consumers is being improved.

The process of interaction and data exchange with all the leading space agencies of the world is being worked out to create the international data exchange system regarding the situation in NES.