March 4, 2024

This Week in Amateur Radio

North America's Premiere Amateur Radio News Magazine

US satellites in low Earth orbit to be deorbited in 5 years: report

Defunct U.S. satellites in low Earth orbit will need to come down in five years, if a proposed new regulation is approved.

Targeting satellite operators, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has a draft order(opens in new tab) published Thursday (Sept. 8) requesting the machines be deorbited in half a decade, once those missions have finished. The order was reported by SpaceNews(opens in new tab).

“We believe that a five-year post-mission orbital lifetime strikes an appropriate balance between meaningfully reducing risk while remaining flexible and responsive to a broader selection of mission profiles,” the order stated.

If approved, this order would be a new arsenal in the FCC’s most recent call against space debris. In August, the commission issued an update promising new rules against space junk, particularly focusing on in-space servicing assembly and manufacturing as an emerging solution.

Read more – Space.com: https://www.space.com/satellites-deorbited-5-years-low-earth-orbit