Committee Chair

Kim, Seong Dae

Committee Member

Campbell, Curtis Coker; Abrha, Wolday D.


Dept. of Engineering Management


College of Engineering and Computer Science


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


The rapid increase of satellite deployments to Earth orbits is causing an increase to the numbers of space debris and inactive satellites in Earth's orbits which poses a growing threat of orbital collisions. Orbital collisions can trigger a domino effect, known as the Kessler syndrome, which can cause uncontrolled continuous orbital collisions. This research utilizes documented data on approximately 65,000 Anthropogenic Space Objects in Earth's orbit dating from the first ASO launched in 1957 to April 1st, 2022. The research study provides a comprehensive analysis of all monitored ASOs in Earth's orbit by presenting and exploring the current state of space debris and the relationship to the active satellites in Earth's orbit. The findings of this study will contribute to ongoing efforts to address the challenges of space debris, uncontrolled reentry, and orbital impacts, and promote a sustainable space environment.


I would like to acknowledge and thank my academic advisor Dr. Seong Dae Kim, who provided invaluable guidance, support, and time during the research process. I would like to thank the members of the thesis research committee who provided tremendous support, encouragement and support throughout the research final process and research defense. I offer my appreciation to Dr. Moriba Jah for his work and research in Astrophysics and providing his time to meet with me to introduce me to the emerging issue of space debris. My gratitude to Dr. Jonathan McDowell for his catalogs, meetings with me and his immense research in Astrophysics. Finally, I would like to thank my family for their patience and understanding. Also, thankful for my friends who provided their support been a constant source of inspiration. Thank you all for your contributions to this work, and for being a part of this celestial journey.


M. S.; A thesis submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Science.




Artificial satellites—Orbital lifetimes; Space debris


Space; Space Debris; Space Environment; low Earth Orbit (LEO); Satellite; Kessler syndrome

Document Type

Masters theses




xii, 72 leaves