orbital cascade_57-46


HD video 16:9, single channel, stereo, 6.00 min.

The work “orbital cascade_57-46” visualizes the demographics of defunct objects in orbit around the Earth from 1957 to 2046. This includes everything from spent rocket stages and old satellites to fragments resulting from disintegration, erosion, and collisions. Currently there are about 600,000 objects larger than 1 cm (0.4 in) in space, orbiting Earth at a velocity of approximately 28,000 kmph (17,400 mph) and posing a severe threat to satellites, space stations and manned spaceflights. Drawn from a data archive, each spherule in the video represents a real existing object orbiting in space starting with the very first object in space, the Sputnik 1 satellite launched in 1957. 2013 marked the start of a simulated worst case future scenario that assumes two realistic collisions that would dramatically increase the amount of space debris, collisions known in aeronautics as the “cascade effect”. The virtual camera flies up and down through various orbits, ending up deep in space looking down on Earth, which will be entirely covered by space debris in the year 2046.

The visualization was realized in collaboration with the Institute of Aerospace Systems @ TU Braunschweig, Germany.


Personally liable:
Michael Najjar

Design concept & coding: Matthias Hübner, possible.is
with support by Marco Land

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