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scary stuff orbiting the earth

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:17 PM
# As of april, 2005 at least 13 nuclear reactor fuel cores, 8 thermoelectric generators, and 32 nuclear reactors are known to be in Earth orbits below 1700 km.

# Low Earth orbit ~ 250-600 km from earth - International space station

# Geosynchronous stationary orbit ~ 35,785 km from earth - communications satellites

# ~ 20,000 km from earth - Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites

Before 1961, the entire Earth satellite population was just over 50 objects. Now earth orbit is cluttered with: ~11,000 objects bigger than 10 cm, of which ~9,000 are catalogued and tracked (~8000 are of US or USSR origin) - including around 600 functional spacecraft; ~100,000 objects from 1-10 cm -- too small to track, dangerous to spacecraft; and several million objects smaller than 1cm.

What are they? Jettisoned mission junk, rocket fuel, space station garbage, abandoned rocket parts, used nuclear reactors, leaked radioactive coolant and exploded bits (~150 unplanned explosions of rockets and satellites have occured to date). Collisions between orbiting debris make even more debris. Hundreds of close passes (less than 1 km apart) occur daily between catalogued objects. Each year around 100 objects fall out of orbit and survive re-entry, crash landing somewhere on earth. Dozens of earth orbit satellites launched by the USSR and the USA between 1965-1988 used nuclear power. Several have fallen out of orbit and crash landed. Nuclear power systems are being considered for projects in the next decade. About 75 - 100 new satellites are launched each year.

UN Office for Outer Space Affairs:

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:30 AM
We really do need to learn to clean up after ourselves. So far, man is acting in the usual manner of being a litterbug wherever he goes.

On the other hand, archeology is built in a large part on understanding the trash of past eras. Maybe someday in the very far future, men will collect and examine all of this junk in an effort to understand our first feeble steps into the void.

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 04:28 PM
Sorry, but does this remind anyone of Skylab?

I'm suprised we don't hear about more of these objects. It's so nice to know you could be walking along when a random piece of space debris with your name on it comes flying out of orbit and crushes you into oblivion, possibly spreading nuclear waste all over your neighborhood! (lol?)

posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 05:17 PM

Originally posted by alanbmac
As of april, 2005 at least 13 nuclear reactor fuel cores, 8 thermoelectric generators, and 32 nuclear reactors are known to be in Earth orbits below 1700 km.

Doesn't sound very good at all.

What is that -- like around fifty Chernobyl disasters waiting to happen in our future?

Sounds pretty irresponsible. (But what did I really expect?) Probably even worse news, yet to be disclosed.

posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 06:51 AM
Space the final frontier to pollute. The biggest thing that scares me is a thread I had read recently about the book of revelations and the coming new pope and the end of the world. I'm in no way religious but I am a very big sceptic and also a believer that anything is possible. In the book and this is in any bible, it states that balls of fire will rain down and create huge craters that have smoke stacks that reach to the heavens. Could these pieces of debri possibly explode when impacting Earth? The other odd thing about that part is that the book states that a swarm of locusts will emerge from the crater and they will blot out the sun and will kill all men without the mark of god on their forehead. Could this possibly mean that these pieces are going to hit major cities and kill all by massive radiation? Man I gotta quit reading prophecies I start thinking about everything down and nothing up.

[edit on 25-1-2008 by Lokey13]

[edit on 25-1-2008 by Lokey13]

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