Saturday, September 6, 2008

New Google Earth add-on

A new add-on to Google Earth features real-time locations of all 13,000 satellites, dead and alive, being tracked by U.S. Strategic Command.

It also contains the information on each satellite, such as the date and time it was launched and by whom, the apogee/perigee, and the mass and orbital information.

It's a really interesting way to look at Google Earth, and it makes pretty obvious the fact that Kessler Syndrome will soon be a very, very big problem for both live satellites we depend on for technology and the men and women who actually fly in space. Apparently we're going to wait until the ISS or Shuttle gets struck and lives are lost before we actually start cleaning up this mess.
At any rate, it's quite fun to play around with.
By the way, if you're looking for a particular piece of junk or a particular satellite, you can just go in the info box on the left-hand side of your screen, and click the + by "Satellite Database." Then just click the + beside whatever you're interested in: active satellites, inactive satellites, debris, etc. Then if you click a + beside CA, US, ESA, JPN, etc., you can narrow it down to the country of origin. When you find what you're looking for (say, "DELTA 1 DEB, Satellite Number 10634") just double-click and your Google Earth will go right to the satellite's location.
You can add this feature to your Google Earth by clicking here.

No comments: