FCC wants to phase out non-functional satellites in five years

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FCC wants to phase out non-functional satellites in five years

The FCC wants to take initiatives to manage space waste in low Earth orbit. Indeed, the commission has proposed the elimination of non-functional satellites in space. But for that, the proposal would first have to be adopted.

It should be noted that in the 1990s, NASA issued guidelines that dead satellites should be desorbed within the next 25 years. Right now, it’s time to do this cleaning.


Satellite
Credits 123RF.com

The five-year rule

The FCC made the proposal Thursday via Ars Technica that non-geostationary space satellites should be eliminated. According to the FCC, it would be wiser not to let satellites deorbit in low Earth orbit for years to come.

NASA had been planning for the removal of non-functional satellites for years. Faced with this, the FCC decided to put in place a five-year rule. This is a period during which all non-functional satellites should be cleared. This concerns national satellite operators, but also companies wishing to access the American market. This proposal comes as the number of satellites in low Earth orbit is expected to increase significantly over the next few years.

Indeed, with the contributions of companies such as SpaceX, Amazon or OneWeb, up to 18,000 new satellites could float above the planet by 2025. Thus, the elimination of non-functional satellites would be a gain of space, but would also ensure better security

How will the operation take place?

The FCC will no longer take directions from satellites already in space. Moreover, the commission is proposing a two-year vesting period, beginning September 29. This exclusion decision would allow many organizations, thanks to the right obtained to launch satellites, to eliminate their spacecraft. However, the arrival of these satellites could make it more difficult to observe the night sky, and the risk of accidents will increase.

It’s important to note that the FCC has issued a statement saying it grants waivers on a case-by-case basis. This was decided after NASA spoke out over concerns that the five-year rule could affect its CubeSat missions.

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