Space Commerce

Tracking Objects in Space

By Keith Cowing
September 6, 2012
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Tracking Objects in Space
Cloud of Debris Circling Earth

To continue successfully keeping track of objects in orbit around Earth, the U.S. Air Force should become more open and transparent in the creation and dissemination of its algorithms, processes, and research in astrodynamics, according to a new report from the National Research Council.
Though the report recognizes that security issues exist, it recommends that Air Force Space Command work with Air Force Materiel Command, NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other community members to create and expand astrodynamics research programs through the Air Force Research Laboratory. The Air Force should also create an open-architecture, application programming interface to facilitate the exchange of a wider array of data, algorithms, and documentation with a growing number of external entities.


Continuing Kepler’s Quest: Assessing Air Force Space Command’s Astrodynamic Standards is available for immediate release at Media inquiries should be directed to the National Academies’ Office of News and Public Information; tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.