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Blocking an orbit using space shrapnel?

This is a discussion on Blocking an orbit using space shrapnel? within the Space & Defense Technology forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Is it possible to "block" an orbital trajectory by dispersing shrapnel or any other compound that consists of many small ...


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Old July 25th, 2016   #1
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Blocking an orbit using space shrapnel?

Is it possible to "block" an orbital trajectory by dispersing shrapnel or any other compound that consists of many small yet destructive particles?

Basically, a multitude of projectiles or a very large warhead is launched into the target orbit (can be even retrograde if it is an Equatorial orbit) and then explodes, dispersing shrapnel. If multiple projectiles are used, then a whole Low Earth Orbit can quickly be clotted. When an enemy spacecraft tries to enter the orbit, it is immediately hit and destroyed by the shrapnel. The shrapnel could possibly be made magnetic so that it "falls" towards spacecraft. After several years, most of the shrapnel will be gone due to orbital decay.

What do you think of my idea?
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Old July 26th, 2016   #2
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Originally Posted by MedwedianPres View Post
Is it possible to "block" an orbital trajectory by dispersing shrapnel or any other compound that consists of many small yet destructive particles?

Basically, a multitude of projectiles or a very large warhead is launched into the target orbit (can be even retrograde if it is an Equatorial orbit) and then explodes, dispersing shrapnel. If multiple projectiles are used, then a whole Low Earth Orbit can quickly be clotted. When an enemy spacecraft tries to enter the orbit, it is immediately hit and destroyed by the shrapnel. The shrapnel could possibly be made magnetic so that it "falls" towards spacecraft. After several years, most of the shrapnel will be gone due to orbital decay.

What do you think of my idea?
look up project West Ford.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_West_Ford

Making it magnetic won't really make it attract to any craft (they usually aren't that metallic and the distance and velocities are huge) and will most likely align with earths magnetic fields.

Problem is stuff doesn't come out of orbit as quickly as we hope (unless its VLO at sub orbital velocities). A few collisions and things start bouncing around, making problems for everyone for decades.
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Old July 26th, 2016   #3
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Is it possible to "block" an orbital trajectory by dispersing shrapnel or any other compound that consists of many small yet destructive particles?

Basically, a multitude of projectiles or a very large warhead is launched into the target orbit (can be even retrograde if it is an Equatorial orbit) and then explodes, dispersing shrapnel. If multiple projectiles are used, then a whole Low Earth Orbit can quickly be clotted. When an enemy spacecraft tries to enter the orbit, it is immediately hit and destroyed by the shrapnel. The shrapnel could possibly be made magnetic so that it "falls" towards spacecraft. After several years, most of the shrapnel will be gone due to orbital decay.

What do you think of my idea?
Space is really big. I think you'd have a hard time getting a cloud of shrapnel dense enough and big enough to ensure destruction of an enemy spacecraft. It'd be like saying you wanted a mine field the size of Texas, and dense enough to stop a 4x4 from getting through.
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