back to article Junking orbital junk? The mind behind ASTRIAGraph database project hopes to 'make space transparent'

Forty-five years after the United States entered into the Convention on Registration of Objects Launched into Outer Space, one of its citizens has some doubts about the way it's working out. The convention, administered by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), might not be capturing all the information it …

  1. Chris G Silver badge

    "I'm here to make space transparent: nothing hides in space," he said. "I want everybody to know where everything is all the time. And I want people's behaviours, and the intended and unintended consequences of their actions to also be very transparent. And I want to facilitate scientifically informed policy in law."

    Good luck with all of that, I can imagine so many 'sensitive' projects from many nations not wanting to give any data at all on some items they have put into orbit, even if the items are visible with the naked eye.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "Good luck with all of that, I can imagine so many 'sensitive' projects from many nations not wanting to give any data at all on some items they have put into orbit, even if the items are visible with the naked eye."

      The data of exactly what an item is may not be as important as it's orbit, which if it can be seen, can be calculated by anyone with the time and resources to do so. Probably a good estimate of the mass too.

      1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

        Sometimes, certain countries are very cagey about the orbits of certain objects (and deliberately don't list them on their publicly available databases), and have been known to even design systems capable of changing orbits while on "the other side of the planet" from certain observers.

        No describing in detail what a bird does is just par for the course, except in the cases where you are trying to market and sell its services publicly.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      > Good luck with all of that

      Came here to say the same thing. Till now only military projects were secret, but with the private sector taking over, there will also be the question of competitive edge: You do not want the competition to know your exact/real capacities.

      The old naive times where scientists and engineers in lab coats were proud to announce their latest baby are over. Now money will dictate to keep a lid on things and let the marketing department do the talking.

      Remember, what you promise commercially and what you actually can do are two wildly different things. What you promise is public knowledge, but your real capacity and specs are an important commercial secret.

  2. MAF

    Hmm

    Love the idea of a "Star rating" for kit sent into space.... "Oh my God it's full of stars"

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    I don't get the analogy with the Rosetta Stone. What is the language to decrypt?

  4. danhawk7

    UFNPD / Native American

    STM or transparency will be needed upon the first instance of collision of debris with manned spacecraft or a very expensive or top-secret operational satellite. An increased launch rate especially now that launch providers have access to NAFTU will increase the probability of conjunction. If one-half the world uses an STM system then we are one-half closer to launching safer. Dan Hawk, Iroquois Confederacy, Oneida.

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