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of On-Orbit Satellite Fragmentations
Since 1961, more than 190 man-made objects in Earth orbit have undergone moderate to serious breakups. Another 50 have undergone less energetic debris-producing events.
The debris from these fragmentations now account for over 45% of all cataloged satellites (typically larger than 10 cm in diameter) still in orbit.
Only three of these fragmentations are known to have been caused by accidental collisions. The vast majority of fragmentations appear to have arisen
from explosions involving residual propellants or pressurants, battery malfunctions, self-destruction charges, or space defense activities.
To understand better the source of these fragmentations, the History of On-Orbit Satellite Fragmentations has been compiled and maintained since 1984.
This 14th edition is the latest in the series and updates the historical record through August 2007. Each fragmented satellite is described along with its
orbital characteristics and information about the fragmentation event, including the number of debris generated, the number remaining in orbit, and
the assessed cause, if known.