2023 - Emergency Management and the Final Frontier.pdf (2.32 MB)
Emergency management and the final frontier: Preparing local communities for falling space debris
journal contributionposted on 2023-11-07, 06:48 authored by HM Louis-Charles, A Kalokoh, J Torres, Thomas JamiesonThomas Jamieson
Global dependence on satellite technologies, along with expanding space exploration, and commercial space travel have made rocket launches routine modern-day events. As a result, there is an increasing probability of civilian casualty from rocket launch anomalies, or from falling space debris already in orbit. This study provides an empirical analysis of local emergency management publicly available guidelines for the risks associated with human-made space hazards, natural space hazards, and unknown space hazards. A multicase approach is utilized with a document analysis of 391 emergency management documents provided by 512 local jurisdictions across the states of California, Florida, Texas, and Virginia. Descriptive statistics and a QGIS vector spatial analysis is conducted to identify high risk counties in close proximity to rocket launch sites. A logit regression model informs us on the relationship between a county containing a rocket launch site or being in close proximity to a launch site and their likelihood of including falling space hazards in their emergency management documents. A significant number of documents mention falling aircrafts, missiles from tornadoes and weapons of mass destruction. Rocket launch anomalies and falling space debris remain outside the scope or imaginability of local emergency management plans.