Re: Interesting Story In "The Space Review" Web Site Today

From: Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <>
Date: Thu, 4 Jan 2018 00:25:31 +0100
Op 3-1-2018 om 20:01 schreef Thomas Goodey via Seesat-l:

> Responsibility is not the question, since those people 
> cannot do anything about it anyway. It just disturbs their 
> sleep, and may give some of the more dishonest ones the 
> idea that they can get a bunch of money out of the good old 
> U S of A. I can easily see this happening.
> Since the danger is miniscule, I think publicizing it 
> amounts to alarmism, not responsibility. The logical final 
> consequence of such alarmist publicity will be a public 
> outcry against the very existence of satellites, at least 
> low-orbit satellites. You only have to look at history 
> (atomic energy, fracking, DDT, etc.) to see this.

Actually, there are very good reasons to share re-entry alerts.

Even if a re-entry does not often result in ground impacts, they can become a
burden on emergency services if people call in reports of "burning objects in
the sky".

This could (and has, in the past) actually lead to unneccessary deployment of
emergency services, who after initial calls will not know whether this is a
plane crashing from the sky, a terror attack, or something else.

In several countries (including mine) there is legitimate concern about this and
advance alerts for re-entries that potentially could involve the territory of my
country are nowadays therefore issued to some Dutch government agencies.

A good example of a re-entry that caused a lot of fuzz for local emergency
services was the re-entry of a Soyuz rocket over Europe in December 2011. The
112 telephone number (the Dutch "911") was inundated with calls and it took a
while for law enforcement authorities, who were unaware of this re-entry, to
understand what had happened.

> Since the danger is miniscule, I think publicizing it
> amounts to alarmism, not responsibility.

If re-entry predictions are shared, and as a result (local) authorities know in
advance that something might happen, this actually helps prevent panic.
Authorities can quickly reassure worried civilians (and press) calling in, and
it can prevent unneccesary deployment of emergency services, which itself can
spook the public.

- Marco

Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.

Cospar 4353 (Leiden):     52.15412 N, 4.49081 E (WGS84), +0 m ASL
Cospar 4355 (Cronesteyn): 52.13878 N, 4.49937 E (WGS84), -2 m ASL
Station (b)log:
Twitter: _at_Marco_Langbroek
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Received on Wed Jan 03 2018 - 17:26:24 UTC

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