Threats from incoming orbital rubbish are real and set to grow, says Darren McKnight, a senior technical fellow at LeoLabs. As more space systems are deployed in low-Earth orbit, the old adage applies: what goes up must come down.

A LeoLabs visualization tool shown at the 39th Space Symposium tracks maneuvers performed by satellites that change their orbits frequently. And it highlights maneuvers conducted by satellites that did not typically perform them.

In a presentation at the International Academy of Astronautics’ Space Traffic Management Conference Feb. 27 at the University of Texas Austin, Owen Marshall of LeoLabs, said there had been a degradation in the rate that the Defense Department was able to catalog objects after launch.

According to LeoLabs analysis, the near-miss of the Russian and NASA satellites on Feb. 28 could have resulted in between 2,000-7,000 new pieces of trackable debris in LEO—or as much as a 50% increase in debris.

This is just the sixth time in the last two years that two non-maneuverable space objects have come so close, according to a LeoLabs analysis. The company’s model suggests that a collision could have increased debris in LEO by 50%.

Two satellites nearly collided in space on Wednesday in a harrowing encounter that LeoLabs, a satellite-tracking company, called “too close for comfort.”

LeoLabs Senior Technical Fellow Dr. Darren McKnight is interviewed in this article about Astroscale’s ADRAS-J spacecraft which will inspect a dead Japanese rocket in orbit—a major moment in space-junk removal.

LeoLabs, the leading provider of integrated solutions that persistently monitor activity in space to reveal threats to safety and security, today announced Tony Frazier has been appointed as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

LeoLabs announced today that the company has appointed longtime Maxar executive Tony Frazier as the company’s new CEO. Frazier plans to lead LeoLabs to become a critical mission partner for military space operations and space safety systems.

Tony Frazier, who led Maxar Technologies’ Earth Intelligence business, takes the helm March 1 of space mapping firm LeoLabs. Meanwhile, Dan Ceperley, who co-founded LeoLabs in 2016, will become chief operations officer for the 100-person company. LeoLabs is at an inflection point in its growth trajectory, Frazier told SpaceNews.

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