Close Approaches of Debris to LARES Satellite During Its First Four Years of Operation

Claudio Paris, Giampiero Sindoni, Tommaso di Sabato


Since its launch in February 2012, the LAser RElativity Satellite (LARES) of the Italian Space Agency experienced four close approaches with space debris. LARES orbits at an altitude of 1450 km, in a region where the density of space debris has a peak. However, the probability of an impact with a debris during the operational life of the satellite was reasonably low. The analysis of the close approaches identified three of the objects, that are from two peculiar population of objects. This paper discusses the problem of space debris in low orbit, the approaches occurred with LARES, and some possible scenarios related to space regulations and space law in case of an impact.


General relativity; LARES; satellite laser ranging; space debris; space law

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