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Pentagon sees no imminent reason to pay for space debris removal

06 December 2017

Key Points

  • The Pentagon won’t pay for space debris removal until it threatens its space assets
  • Space debris is growing and congesting popular orbits

The Pentagon will not pay for space debris removal until it judges debris to be a threat to its space assets, according to a key officer.

“The government will pay for it when it becomes a threat to the government,” Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office Program Manager Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Raley told an audience on 5 December here at the Space Commerce Conference and Exhibition (SpaceCom) in Houston, Texas. “I don’t think it’s something that the Air Force or [Defense Department] sees as an inherently government responsibility to go and do that clean up, at this point.”

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