This document contains information on the design and operational practices for launch vehicle orbital stages for mitigating space debris. This document provides information to engineers on the requirements and recommendations in the space debris mitigation standards to reduce the growth of space debris by ensuring that launch vehicle orbital stages are designed, operated, and disposed of in a manner that prevents them from generating debris throughout their orbital lifetime.

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This document defines detailed space debris mitigation requirements and recommendations for the design and operation of launch vehicle orbital stages in Earth orbit. The requirements defined in this document are applicable for: — avoiding the release of space debris; — disposing of a launch vehicle orbital stage after the end of its mission so as to avoid a break-up in orbit; — disposing of a launch vehicle orbital stage after the end of its mission so as to minimize interference with the protected regions; — safely re-entering a launch vehicle orbital stage.

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This document defines the primary space debris mitigation requirements applicable to all elements of unmanned systems launched into, or passing through, near-Earth space, including launch vehicle orbital stages, operating spacecraft and any objects released as part of normal operations. The requirements contained in this document are intended to reduce the growth of space debris by ensuring that spacecraft and launch vehicle orbital stages are designed, operated and disposed of in a manner that prevents them from generating debris throughout their orbit lifetime. The requirements are also intended to reduce the casualty risk on ground associated with atmospheric re-entry of space objects. This document is the top-level standard in a family of standards addressing space debris mitigation. It is the main interface for the user, bridging between the primary space debris mitigation objectives and a set of lower level standards and technical reports that support conformance. The lower level documents contain detailed requirements and implementation measures associated with the high-level requirements in this document.

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ISO/TR 20590:2017 contains non-normative information on the design and operational practices for launch vehicle orbital stages for mitigating space debris. ISO/TR 20590:2017 can be used to guide engineers in the application of the family of space debris mitigation standards (see 4.2) to reduce the growth of space debris by ensuring that launch vehicle orbital stages are designed, operated, and disposed of in a manner that prevents them from generating debris throughout their orbital lifetime.

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ISO 16126:2014 defines requirements and a procedure for assessing the survivability of an unmanned spacecraft against space debris and meteoroid impacts to ensure the survival of critical components required to perform post-mission disposal. ISO 16126:2014 also describes two impact risk analysis procedures that can be used to satisfy the requirements. ISO 16126:2014 is part of a set of International Standards that collectively aim to reduce the growth of space debris by ensuring that spacecraft are designed, operated, and disposed of in a manner that prevents them from generating debris throughout their orbital lifetime.

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  • Standard
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ISO 16127:2014 defines the requirements to reduce the risk of in-orbit break-up of unmanned spacecraft, both during and after their operational lives. The aim would be met by reducing the possibility of a break-up caused by an unplanned internally caused event and by depleting to a safe level all the sources of stored energy at the end of a spacecraft's life. ISO 16127:2014 is designed for use in planning, verifying and implementing the prevention of break-up of a spacecraft. ISO 16127:2014 applies only to unmanned spacecraft operating in Earth orbit.

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ISO 11227:2012 describes an experimental procedure for assessing the behaviour, under orbital debris or meteoroid impacts, of materials that are intended to be used on the external surfaces of spacecraft and launch vehicle orbital stages. ISO 11227:2012 provides a unified method by which to rank materials. The ejecta production characteristics of different materials are compared under standardized conditions in which test parameters are fixed to one number. Optional tests with different parameters are also useful for the proper selection of materials in other conditions, and they could be performed as research items. ISO 11227:2012 establishes the requirements to be satisfied for the test methods in order to characterize the amount of ejecta produced when a surface material is impacted by a hypervelocity projectile. Its purpose is to evaluate the ratio of ejecta total mass to projectile mass, and the size distribution of the fragments. These are the necessary inputs for modelling the amount of impact ejecta that a surface material might release during its orbital lifetime, thereby helping to assess its suitability for space use while mitigating the production of small space debris. The purpose of ISO 11227:2012 is to provide data that need to be taken into account in the selection of outer spacecraft materials, though the selection is not based on these criteria alone. The experimental procedure defines the type of facility to be used, the size, velocity and type of projectile to be used, the evaluation of impact ejecta released, the reporting of test results, and the quality requirements to be used. ISO 11227:2012 is applicable to spacecraft and launch vehicles operating in all types of Earth orbits.

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