SSTL Repositions U.K. DMC-1 Satellite to Minimize Collision Risk
[Satellite TODAY 11-11-10] Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (SSTL) repositioned the U.K.-DMC-1 satellite, which is reaching the end of its operational life, the company announced Nov. 10.
SSTL said it has been using unspent propellant to reduce the orbital lifetime and the probability of generating space debris. The satellite’s maneuvers were designed to deplete the remaining butane from the propellant tanks in the spirit of industry best practice regarding orbital debris. Depletion of the propellant ensures that there are no on-board pressure sources, which could cause the spacecraft to break-up and increase the space debris population.
The maneuver was praised by the U.K. Space Agency as an effort to reduce space junk. “We welcome the news that SSTL has successfully reduced the altitude of U.K. DMC-1 and, therefore, its remaining lifetime in orbit. Such best practice to minimize collision risk to the remaining orbital population should be followed by all responsible operators, and SSTL should be congratulated for what is an exemplary mission,” U.K. Space Agency Spokesman Richard Crowther said in a statement.