Air Force, NASA Partner on Space Debris Project

The Air Force and NASA are working together to create a satellite that mimics a modern low-Earth-orbit spacecraft, although they don’t intend it to actually go into space. Instead, they plan to utilize the DebriSat—a 110-pound satellite—in a hypervelocity impact experiment to allow scientists to study debris when two satellites collide, reported (via Yahoo News) on Nov. 6. “Collision fragments are expected to dominate the future orbital debris environment,” J.C. Liou of NASA’s orbital debris program told the online publication. Therefore, such a study is needed to determine how best to reduce future risks in space. DebriSat testing is expected to occur in early 2014, said Norman Fitz-Coy, director of the University of Florida’s Space Systems Group that is designing and fabricating the satellite.