TWP.docx - Transmittal Letter Date To Elon Musk CEO of...

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Transmittal Letter Date: March 12, 2018 To: Elon Musk CEO of SpaceX SpaceX From: Alexander Wilkins University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Subject: Recommendation Report for the issue of Space Debris Attached is the report for the study, “Decreasing the Risk of Space Debris.” I completed this study independently with the intent to develop solutions to lessen the risk of space debris hitting a rocket or satellite. I conducted two different methods of research to reach my conclusions. First, I performed secondary research. I read scholarly articles on fieldwork and scientific experiments regarding the subject. Second, I interviewed Professor John Crassidis from the University at Buffalo, an expert on the subject. I later read more articles on the information he provided me to deepen my knowledge on the issue. I narrowed the potential solutions down to three main solutions. First, I explored the implementation of tether dynamics to remove space debris. Tethering is too time consuming to remove the necessary amount of space debris to make space travel safe. I also researched the use of lasers to disintegrate space debris. There are too many political nuances that prevent lasers from being a feasible solution. Lastly, I looked into improving spacecraft sensor technology and improving its sensitivity and accuracy. This seems to be the most feasible out of the three options. I recommend that in the short term, we develop more sensitive and comprehensive debris tracking systems. Restrictions also need to be enforced that limits the amount of space debris littered into orbit. In the long run, once the political issue is worked out, lasers are a great road of research to be explored, due to their large disintegration radius. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. You may contact me anytime through email ([email protected]) if you have any questions or comments.
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Decreasing the Risk of Space Debris: A Recommendation Report Prepared for: Elon Musk CEO of Spacex Spacex Prepared by: Alexander Wilkins, student University at Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences March 12, 2018
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Table of Contents Transmittal Letter Cover Page Abstract Introduction Methods Results Conclusions Recommendation Reference Appendix
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Abstract As we continue to develop aeronautical technology, our capabilities to explore space increase. The rate at which our nation and company has pushed to evolve space travel is quite spectacular. However, as a result of many space expeditions, there is quite a bit of manmade clutter orbiting in outer space, not very far from the earth’s atmosphere. This “junk” can pose a major threat to the future of space exploration, because it can damage our spaceships and satellites. Trash pickup is a bit more complicate in space then it is on earth, due to long distance travel and the magnitude of space debris in orbit. It is no easy task to maneuver around all the debris. In order to continue
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