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If/When Mar 7, 2022

Orbital Debris: Clean Up Your Space

Show Contributors: Dr. Phillip Anz-Meador, Paul Thies

If/When Episode 49 Teaser

Ever since the Space Age began in the 1950s, man-made objects have been filling the nighttime sky in an increasing number. But what happens to all those rockets and components floating around our world? Though some burn up in the atmosphere, an ever-growing number of artificial objects litter the stratosphere, presenting potential dangers to astronauts and costly damages to satellites and spacecraft. In this episode of If/When we explored the topic of orbital debris with Dr. Phillip Anz-Meador, Orbital Debris Principal Scientist, Jacobs JETS Contract Group. In the discussion that follows, we talked about the size and scope of the problem of orbital debris, the safety hazards it presents, and what is being done to remediate the problem.

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Dr. Phillip Anz-Meador

Dr. Phillip Anz-Meador is the Jacobs Principal Scientist for Orbital Debris within the NASA Orbital Debris Program Office (ODPO) at Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, and corporate subject matter expert on space debris and the space environment. Since joining the ODPO in 1985, Dr. Anz-Meador has initiated and led significant, fundamental efforts in space traffic and debris characterization, all aspects of modeling, radar and in situ measurements, mitigation, protection, and remediation. He is the recipient of the NASA Astronaut Corps’ Silver Snoopy award.  He is a member of the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) Committee on Space Debris. He succeeded Mr. Don Kessler as editor of the Springer journal Space Debris during its publication life, is the Technical Editor of the ODPO Orbital Debris Quarterly Newsletter (ODQN), and regularly contributes to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR), the International Astronautical Federation (IAF), the AMOS Technical Conference and other conferences and workshops.