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The Satellite Catalog Number (also known as NORAD Catalog Number, NORAD ID, NASA catalog number, USSPACECOM object number or simply catalog number and similar variants) is a sequential five-digit number assigned by USSPACECOM (United States Space Command) in order of discovery to all man-made objects in Earth orbit (including rocket bodies and debris) and space probes launched from Earth.[1] Initially the catalog was maintained by NORAD but starting from 1985 USSPACECOM was tasked to detect, track, identify, and maintain a catalog of all man-made objects in Earth orbit.[2] The first catalogued object, catalog number 00001, is the Sputnik 1 launch vehicle, with the Sputnik 1 satellite assigned catalog number 00002.[3]

USSPACECOM shares the catalog via space-track.org website.[4] 18th Space Control Squadron (18 SPCS) is the unit that maintains the catalog.

The minimum object size in the catalog is 10 centimeters in diameter.[5] As of JuneĀ 23, 2019, the catalog listed 44,336 objects including 8,558 satellites launched into orbit since 1957.[6] 17,480 of them were actively tracked while 1,335 were lost.[7] ESA estimates there are about 34,000 orbiting debris of the size USSTRATCOM is capable to track as of January 2019[8]

Objects that fail to orbit or orbit for a short time are not catalogued.[9]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kelso, T.S. (January 1998). "Frequently Asked Questions: Two-Line Element Set Format". Satellite Times. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  2. ^ "SMALL SATELLITE DEBRIS CATALOG MAINTENANCE ISSUES" (PDF). NASA. October 1, 1991. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  3. ^ "SL-1 R/B Satellite details 1957-001A NORAD 1". Retrieved January 9, 2018.
  4. ^ "USSTRATCOM expands SSA data on Space-Track.org". Air Force Space Command. October 10, 2018. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Space-Track.org. Retrieved June 23, 2019. 10 centimeter diameter or "softball size" is the typical minimum size object that current sensors can track and 18 SPCS maintains in the catalog.
  6. ^ Kelso, T.S. "SATCAT Boxscore". CelesTrak. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  7. ^ Kelso, T.S. "TLE History Statistics". CelesTrak. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  8. ^ "Space debris by the numbers". ESA. January 2019. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
  9. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Space-Track.org. Retrieved July 14, 2019. Q: What criteria are used to determine whether an orbiting object should receive a catalogue number and International Designation? A: We must be able to determine who it belongs to, what launch it correlates to, and the object must be able to be maintained (tracked well).

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