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Published in journal "Space Research", 2017-4 in rubric "Space Law", pages 286-299.
Resume: Since its launch in February 2012, the LAser RElativity Satellite (LARES) of the Italian Space Agency experienced four close approaches with space debris. LARES orbits at an altitude of 1450 km, in a region where the density of space debris has a peak. However, the probability of an impact with a debris during the operational life of the satellite was reasonably low. The analysis of the close approaches identified three of the objects, that are from two peculiar population of objects. This paper discusses the problem of space debris in low orbit, the approaches occurred with LARES, and some possible scenarios related to space regulations and space law in case of an impact.
Keywords: Space Debris, Space Law, Satellite Laser Ranging, General Relativity Theory, LARES Satellite, Passive Satellite, Risk Analysis, Outer Space Treaty, Liability Convention, Europe Space Agency
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