back to article FCC boss wants tighter rules to prevent devastating satellite explosions in orbit

The chair of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has called on the US watchdog to tighten up rules that aim to prevent accidental satellite explosions that would litter Earth's orbit with debris. The FCC is not short of rules and guidelines around orbital debris, but the call by the regulator's boss, Jessica …

  1. biddibiddibiddibiddi

    Setting an "acceptable risk of exploding" number seems so strange. How about none? Is zero accidental explosions a good number to reach for? And if yours does explode, you get investigated to make sure you made every reasonable effort?

    1. Bebu Silver badge
      Windows

      acceptable risk

      《Setting an "acceptable risk of exploding" number seems so strange. How about none? Is zero accidental explosions a good number to reach for? And if yours does explode, you get investigated to make sure you made every reasonable effort?》

      make sure you made every reasonable effort

      I think the idea of the < 1/1000 risk requirement is that if, on post accident investigation, you can demonstrate that the design, construction and other measures reduced the likelihood of explosion to below this criterion then you can claim every reasonable effort otherwise your actions might be held to be reckless or negligent.

      Perhaps adding the word hazard clarifies: acceptable risk of [the hazard of] exploding

      Noting that risk is the odds (probability, frequency) of the hazard occurring. Obviously if a something is not impossible then the probability of it occurring (while perhaps miniscule) is not zero.

      Actually I would be more worried that the paradigms of sanity that run KP(PRK) who are currently sending meteorological balloons over the DMZ to dump excreta on KR(KOR) could malevolently launch fragmentation munitions into low earth orbit to devastate most of the LEO space real estate. Would really rain on Starlink's parade.

  2. Tron Silver badge

    Explosions have always been an important part of scientific endeavour.

    quote: you get investigated to make sure you made every reasonable effort.

    Will everyone allow others to investigate how their spy satellites were built?

    With any luck, the Pi-controlled Tron-1 will be leaving orbit before all this red tape is implemented, powered by the finest solar panels and lithium cells China can supply. The batteries cunningly double as a self-destruct mechanism in case of emergency. To protect them from the cold, they are each wrapped in a mitten. To keep all the bits from jostling about, I'm filling internal cavities with a sack of tiny polystyrene beads. The down-link will stream music as well as data back to Earth as it heads for deep space: 'Benson, Arizona, blew warm wind through your hair...'

  3. Spherical Cow Silver badge

    0.001 is a lot

    2,664 objects were launched into space in 2023. Is he saying it's acceptable to have a couple of explosions every year?

    1. ThatOne Silver badge

      Re: 0.001 is a lot

      It's just handwaving. Especially since I guess the industry will self-certify their satellites (I don't see how else it could work).

      So, as long as they stay under the number everything is good. If they go over it, well, shit happens as they say, it's too late now, let PR and the legal department earn their wages.

  4. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Just how many explosive satellites have we had?

    I mean, excluding various "we can blow up your satellite if we want to" operations...

    I don't believe I have read about a single one.

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