Space weather is the main source of uncertainty in the location of satellites and debris in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). All objects in LEO orbit through the region of the Earth’s upper atmosphere called the “Thermosphere”. As solar conditions change, the thermosphere swells and shrinks, causing variable drag forces on orbiting objects. During an extreme geomagnetic storm, these forces could lead to dramatic changes in the orbits of all objects in LEO leading to a much higher risk of collision.
How scientists and engineers work together to keep people who will travel to space (astronauts) safe from the harsh environment in space. AGU 2020, Delores J. Knipp, Kaiya Wahl, Valerie Bernstein and Luis Zea.