The problem of space junk

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brian livesey
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The problem of space junk

Post by brian livesey »

The head of astronautics research at the University of Southhampton has drawn attention to the ever-increasing amount of space debris in orbit:
"Tackling space debris is one of humankind's greatest environmental challenges, but it is perhaps the one that is least known," he said.
There are reckoned to be some 100 million pieces of manmade debris shrouding the Earth in space. From mere specks of paint, to spent rockets and defunct satellites, even the tiniest piece can potentially cause problems for communications satellites, travelling as they do up to 17,000 mph in orbit.
Some 27,000 items of space junk are more than 10cm wide and are being tracked by Nasa.
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stella
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by stella »

More likely JSpOC (Military) rather than NASA (Civil).
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
The space Junk problem was supposedly sorted out about twenty years ago.
However, I don't see any big problem myself because someone reckons in the long term ie within about 20 years, the increase in our upper atmospheric temperatures will conveniently melt any space junk and this will fall like hailstones. The only thing to worry about is not to leave cars parked in the open air because of possible damage to car roofs (or is it rooooves) and car bonnets, which might get dented by the metallic hailstones. Oh! I nearly forgot if you have to go outdoors during a heavy hailstorm it will be best to wear a cycle helmet.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian
A little more seriously !
Stella mentions the space junk problem is Military rather than NASA. I think Stella is probably right, but I gather JSpOC is strictly American (USA), and presumably other countries have their own military space programmes and they are unlikely to co-operate with America with a view to removing space junk - so the problems of space junk will inevitably continue to get worse (?).
On a less serious note - perhaps the next generation of "Advanced Space Drones" will be able to deal with the space junk quite soon.
Best wishes from Cliff
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by RMSteele »

Everywhere we go we make a mess. And we talk about going to Mars! Bob
brian livesey
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by brian livesey »

Just to point out that the reference to Nasa searching for space junk was a journalist's goof not mine. :D
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Cliff
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Cliff »

Dear Brian & Bob
I think Bob is right, and people still talk about colonising Mars - which will probably need an extension of HS2.
Best wishes from Cliff
brian livesey
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by brian livesey »

Huge numbers of cubesats are being launched.
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Eva Braun
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Eva Braun »

Humans send lots of garbage to space. In 2018 Elon Musk has sent a car there and now it is officially space garbage. I guess we require some kind of space laws in order to avoid such issues. But despite the fact we send much garbage into space, we also create special devices in order to clear the orbit. In the UK there is a company that produces space tugs for deorbiting space debris, or transferring space debris to disposal orbit, and much more. Future space company Skyrora is the first company in the UK for half of the century.
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Cliff »

Eva
I'm afraid I chickened out of checking out Skyrora's website feeling a bit suspicious about it.
If Skyrora actually successfully clear space of all the junk in due course, I'll take my hat off to them.
However, I see significant amounts of junk just dumped on the ground in this region of the UK- the dumpers seem to generally get away with it.
I doubt if these problems will be sorted out in my lifetime or even for a long time afterwards.
Best wishes from Cliff
michael feist
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by michael feist »

Rather than 'Homo sapiens' , perhaps our species ought to be re-named 'Homo ruderalis'. The adjective 'ruderal' means [in plant naming] growing in waste places, on roadsides or in rubbish. regards mike.
brian livesey
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by brian livesey »

It isn't all bad. I'm proud of my species Homo superior. Think of our humble origins and how far we've come in science, technology and the arts. Five hundred years from now and we won't recognise the place. Trust me. :D
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michael feist
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by michael feist »

Hmm. Possibly not, then being completely buried under a complete sea of trash, which by then may be spread to the Moon, Mars, Europa and anywhere else humanity goes! Still whatever happens, the Sun may simply tidy-up after us! regards mike [the watcher] ...I will of course not watch that, being long, long, long gone and forgotten... As the old saying goes ' you cannot make a cake without breaking eggs'...so it would seem ' humanity cannot progress without making a damned mess'. mike.
brian livesey
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by brian livesey »

Our continental cousins are aware that there's rubbish everywhere here. It seems to be mainly an Anglo-Saxon desease. It might explain when the Romans turned back to the Rhine frontier after exploring north as far as the River Weser. They wouldn't' have liked wading up to the top of their shin-guards through garbage.
If the Anglo-Saxons had been romanised, they would have used the litter bins and learned how to wash themselves.
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Re: The problem of space junk

Post by Brian »

In the future the far side of the Moon will be designated an international landfill site and our rubbish will be dumped there.....
wait a mo' , didn't "Space1999" use that scenario :)
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