NPSAT1: assessment of risk for human casualty from atmospheric reentry
Stroup, James C.
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The United States government, through the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has established clear guidelines that limit the acceptability of orbital debris fragments striking the surface of the Earth. This thesis addresses both the survivability of the soon-to-be-launched NPSAT1 satellite on its eventual reentry into the earth’s atmosphere, and any potential risk to the human populace that may result. After reviewing the history of tracking objects in space, and the policies in place to limit the creation of and risk presented by orbital debris, this research analyzes each of NPSAT1’s individual components for its uncontrolled reentry into the earth’s atmosphere. The analysis conducted in this paper shows that although a few pieces of debris from NPSAT1 would strike the earth’s surface with varying degrees of impact energy, these impacts are not expected to exceed the standards set forth by the Department of Defense.
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