Space Debris Crisis

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The destruction of Myriad Station, captured on photograph through a telescope.

The Space Debris Crisis was an incident in which the poorly executed launch of an orbital satellite by Vakarastan led to the destruction of the space station Myriad Station and then, due to the Kessler effect, much of lower Urth orbit becoming unreachable due to clouds of space debris. An international effort coordinated by the International Certification Committee on Space Debris Remediation cleaned the debris between 2017 and 2020.

The Kessler Syndrome

On December 13th, 2016, the Vakari People's Astronomical Union (NASV) launched a rocket carrying the Echo One Sattelite from the Aeronautics, Space, and Weather Administration launch facility in Peregrinia, which Vakarastan leased for the launch. This was the country's first ever spacecraft launch attempt, and at the time it was by far the least wealthy country on Urth to attempt a spacecraft launch. The rocket failed to reach the correct altitude before launching its satellite payload, and the satellite entered into a highly unstable orbit that, after some hours, caused it to collide with Emberwood Coast's Myriad Station. Both were destroyed in the incident.

The destruction of the station generated a significant amount of space debris: pieces of the station and the satellite of various sizes. The cloud of debris quickly began colliding with, and damaging or destroying, other objects in low Urth orbit, which in turn created more debris. This cascade effect, known as Kessler syndrome or the Kessler effect, effectively made lower Urth orbit unreachable because the behavior of the particles of debris could not be safely predicted with accuracy.

Space Moratorium and Remediation

The international community responded quickly to the debris crisis. First, an international moratorium on spacecraft launches was agreed upon at Rilanon, Christie Island in April of 2017. Secondly, the International Certification Committee on Space Debris Remediation was formed to coordinate the international cleanup effort. Over the course of several years, carefully planned launches of spacecraft were conducted to either de-orbit the debris or to launch spacecraft capable of collecting the debris safely. This cleanup effort is still ongoing; however, on September 15th, 2020, the International Certification Committee on Space Debris Remediation certified that low Urth orbit was clean enough that the moratorium could be safely ended. Spacecraft launches from Urth have since resumed.

Vakari Response

The Vakari Foreign Affairs Office stated no intention to take responsibility for the danages caused in the Crisis, an act which was denounced globally, as well as the avid refusal to participate in any form of memorial. In 2021, records from Vakari Propaganda were released by Durakia, showing the Crisis was internally displayed as a success in the "war against interstellar imperialism." The NASV members involved were recorded to have been executed, with the organisation being disbanded 3 years later.