[amsat-bb] Re: Odd Question (answer)

Davidoff, Martin R. MDAVIDOFF at ccbcmd.edu
Tue Sep 24 07:44:30 PDT 2013

I don't know much about colliding dots but ..
The volume of space from surface of earth up to about 200 km is roughly 1 to the 20th (cubic meters).
The volume of a spherical spacecraft with a diameter of 5 meters (slightly larger than a cubesat) is about 500 (cubic meters).
Assuming 10,000 of these spacecraft orbiting earth (a bit of an overestimate) we have a total volume of 5 times 10 to the 6th (cubic meters).

At any instant the chance of randomly introducing a new object into an occupied position is on the order of 1/2 times 10 to the -13th power.

Of course I have omitted a few important details (and I haven't checked my arithmetic) but since this is about 10 to the 7th less than the odds of  being hit by lightening if one lives to be 100 I wouldn't worry about it too much (however, I would take reasonable precautions with lightening). 


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