FCC proposes ‘five-year rule’ for dead satellite disposal

The Federal Communications Commission wants to do something about low earth orbit. On Thursday, the agency (via ) which, if adopted, would set a deadline for how long non-geostationary satellites can stay in space.

From today’s perspective, NASA’s voluntary guidelines, published in the 1990s, recommend that dead satellites should be removed from orbit within 25 years. The FCC wants to pass a five-year rule that would require domestic satellite operators and companies seeking access to the US market to dispose of their non-working satellites as soon as possible. “We believe that keeping satellites in LEO is no longer sustainable [low Earth orbit] to deorbit for decades,” the FCC states in its proposal.

Satellites already in space would be exempt from FCC rules. The Commission is also proposing a two-year grandfathering period, starting on September 29, when it intends to vote on the regulation. This spin-off would give organizations that previously received approval for a future satellite launch time to develop a disposal plan for their spacecraft. The FCC said it would also grant exceptions on a case-by-case basis after NASA raised concerns that the five-year limit would hurt their .

The proposal comes as the number of satellites in low-Earth orbit is expected to increase dramatically over the next few years. With contributions from companies like , and , as many as possible could be hovering over the planet by 2025. Not only will these satellites make it harder, but they will also increase the likelihood of a potential crash.

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https://www.engadget.com/fcc-five-year-rule-space-junk-181745779.html?src=rss FCC proposes ‘five-year rule’ for dead satellite disposal

Russell Falcon

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