The Economic Impact of Mitigating Orbital Debris



Valuable near-Earth orbits have a clear trend to be congested due to the growing orbital debris population. The U.S. Government Orbital Debris Mitigation Standard Practices (2001) remains voluntary for the aerospace industry to mitigate orbital debris, because a favorable cost-benefit ratio is not so apparent to a “free-rider,” who places spill-over costs on the general public. The primary goal of this research presentation is to encourage the global acceptance of the Standard Practices on economic basis by dispelling misconceptions of mitigation costs and benefits scope. By addressing issues of space congestions, debris spill-over costs and value of protected space regions, Dr. Zhu will argue a case for significant mandatory actions and post-mission disposal for final mission orbits proposed by the Standard Practices. Further, this presentation will outline a dynamic model depicting societal benefits and mitigation costs along with a long-term perspective.