Johns Hopkins APL's 60-foot dish antenna illuminated at night

Preventing Traffic Jams in Space

Our Contribution

Cislunar Space Domain Awareness

Today, traffic in cislunar space might look like a quiet country road. It may never grow to resemble rush hour in Times Square, but experts believe the region will get much busier, prompting a need for additional situational awareness capabilities to prevent space traffic jams.

Cislunar is the space below the Moon and above geosynchronous Earth orbit — about 22,000 miles (or 35,000 kilometers) from Earth’s surface — and the Moon’s orbit at 236,000 miles (380,000 kilometers) away from Earth’s surface. Easier access to space, enabled by the increase in commercial launch capabilities, has opened new possibilities for both countries and companies to use this region and the lunar surface for a variety of purposes, ranging from placing military assets and conducting science to mining resources and manufacturing in space.

We are exploring technical concepts to provide greater situational awareness to enhance safety and security for those who plan to operate in cislunar space and on the Moon.

As an organization, we have world-renowned expertise in space systems, lunar science, and machine learning, and we can pull from that to help inform the development of these solutions.

Wayne Schlei Mission Design Engineer and Co-Lead of Cislunar Projects

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