NASA’s strategy for space sustainability

At about 1:30 am EST on Feb. 28, NASA’s Thermosphere Ionosphere Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics Mission (TIMED) spacecraft passed close to a defunct Russian satellite, Cosmos 2221. The close approach was alarming enough that NASA sent reporters an email in the middle of the night, alerting them to the conjunction and a blog post about it. “Although the spacecraft are expected to miss each other, a collision could result in significant debris generation,” NASA warned.