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What’s New: An interactive report and depiction by the Washington Post.

Why It’s Important: Such an explosion could destroy lots of satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and quite possibly:

  • Create enough debris to destroy satellites in LEO and make it unusable (the Kessler Syndrome). Note, the U.S. is far more dependent on space for any number of essential services, including PNT, than are Russia or China.
  • Create enough debris to make it impossible to transit LEO safely, thereby denying use of MEO and GEO where other satellites live and trapping us on Earth.
  • Create enough atmospheric disturbance to prevent GPS and other GNSS signals from reaching Earth for some period of time.
  • Directly destroy and disrupt systems on the ground beneath the explosion.

What Else to Know: