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Why Not Send Our Garbage To The Sun? UPDATED

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posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 04:54 PM
Hey ATS,

I just thought of this idea, and I want some input.

What if there was a way to "caterpult" our garbage, in really large ammounts into space towards the Sun?

Would such a feat be that difficult?

I assume that with planetary rotations and the like it would have to be a pretty precise kind of experiment. It would however have profound effects on our planet.

All garbage dumps instantly gone, no more waste or pollution put into the oceans, etc.

What do you all think?

I just wanted to update my line of thought.

This would not be done through Rockets or anything like that.

Imagine building a giant runway that shot up into the sky after let's say a quarter mile. We could somehow just "launch" the garbage using this device.

I can picture it but I just can't explain it. Perhaps magnets could be used?


[edit on 4/12/2010 by tothetenthpower]

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:00 PM
I would say gravity from Venus and Mercury would end up pulling the garbage towards those 2 planets.

I'm not exactly sure what the gravity is on those planets but that was the first thing that came to mind.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:01 PM
The first big problem would be the cost of the rocket fuel, who would give that away tax free and at the below cost price of zero.

Second, We need to get the space elevator working and extremely efficient on pulling mass away from Earth's gravity.

Third, attach ion propulsion on a cohesive ball of trash then navigate it unmanned to the sun.

Here you go...

I need some research grants, and a think tank to offer me some work, but noooo I need a diploma and a stable work history lol.

Holla atcha boy!

-Frank Saturn

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:01 PM
One day, I hope you're right!

At the moment, space flight is too expensive and too difficult to make any real dent in the world's dumps.

I mean, we can't even send people into space anymore and are scrapping the shuttle fleet.

Heck, forget the sun, just send it to the moon.

But, to answer your question, I think that, at the moment, it is just too expensive and we don't have ships/containers that could make a waste disposal program possible.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:02 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Heya Tenth,

I think it's a grand idea; I'd guess that it would be pretty expensive, however, given the cost of launching relatively small rockets into orbit.

You mentioned 'catapulting' garbage into the sun. Well, first, I think we need to burn most organic garbage for power. Naturally, there would have to be a way of COMPLETELY burning/recovering these fuels, as plastics are hazardous, along with various oils, paper cartons (dioxins) etc.

After that, what are we left with? Nuclear waste? I think shooting it to the sun would be favorable over burying it it Utah (or other locations around the globe), especially contaminated water/heavy water.

That's be a hell of a trebuchet, huh? I'm intrigued
Could such a thing be made that could accellerate to escape velocity? Perhaps something like a piston-driven cannon?

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:02 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Sending things to space costs something like $10,000 per pound. Recycling makes a whole lot more sense!

To send something to space from the ground you would have to accelerate the object to something like 30,000 miles per hour. But then air would slow it down and most of it would vaporize due to the atmosphere, just like things going into the atmosphere vaporize because they travel at tens of thousands of miles per hour.

[edit on 12-4-2010 by truthquest]

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:03 PM
It simply isn't cost effective to do such a thing, not to mention dangerous! What if we were to put hazardous waste materials onto a rocket and then it malfunctions mid take off and spreads the waste all over the planet?

Having said this, what if we did blast our waste into space and into the sun? Well for starters the sun is by far the object in our solar system with the largest gravitational pull, it would be hard to actually get it to head directly into the sun, most probably we'd end up launching it into an orbita round the sun.
Then we're blasting more junk into space and we all know that's not a good thing for when we're wanting to go into regular space flights.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:04 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

Tenth, although you may have just thought of it, it's been pondered before.

Yes, as already pointed out, using what technologies we currently have available, it was WAY too darned expensive...

It's been estimated that launching material on the space shuttle costs about $10,000/pound ($22,000/kg).

(And THAT is just to LEO...not even to escape Earth's gravity well...)

Your idea of some sort of "catapault" is another juicy one, long ago postulated by Science Fiction writers.

More suited, though to some place like the Moon, since it's (so far) uninhabited.

Not sure if it was Sir Arthur C. Clarke who first sugggest it, but many others have written treatments that propose a "Space Elevator" concept.

Isaac Asimov used the concept in his "Foundation" series of novels, too...

THAT would require a huge leap in technological ability...materials, engineering designs, etc.

(Concept is fairly simple...a satellite at geo-stationary orbit height, along the Earth's equator --- rougly 22,500 miles --- like TV satellites, today).

These satellites would be "tethered" (with an unkown-as-of-yet material, strong enough to not break) to the surface of the Earth, and then some sort of platform, like an 'elevator', would utilize the tether, to run up and back down.

In theory.....

[edit on 12 April 2010 by weedwhacker]

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:06 PM
Just how would you expect to convince Gordon Brown and his cabinet to get in the rocket inthe first place though?

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:06 PM
naa, just dig a really deep hole that goes below the crust and toss it into the magma below (assuming the hollow earth dwellers have no problem with it of course)

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:08 PM
From my dissertation - typed in 1990

"the super city... the world becomes its garbage can.. it flushes its wastes into every river, lake and ocean, or trucks it away into desert areas"

"surely outer space and the moon will in due course be enlisted for this unbecoming function, probably as the dumping ground for rocket borne radioactive refuse"

not me but Theodore Raszak in 1972

Its 2010 and we still arn't doing it so i doubt we ever do

Oh and for those that want to look it up my dissertation is in the University of Ulsters archive

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:13 PM
We could simply burn the garbage here on earth with plasma. Some places are doing trials on it. It's still cost prohibitive vs. landfills, but it will, in deed, be the future of refuse disposal.

Doing a quick Google search, I am posting a link to the first article listed:


posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:20 PM
As mentioned above, it is far too cost prohibitive. But on another note, A star goes through many phases through its lifetime. It starts as a fusion reactor, turning hydrogen into helium, then He into Li and so on. When you get to a high Fe concentration the sun would go nova on you. So in short, introducing large amounts of heavy elements into the sun may interfere with the fusion reaction in unknown ways thereby killing us all. But to be clear, it would have to be an astronomically huge amount of garbage.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:30 PM
LOL i had to laugh when i read this post, in a good way

me and a frienda t work think up stuff like this, and we did once not too long ago. Being an amateur astronomer, this would be too costly to dispose of number one. thiers too many things taht can go wrong, supopse the rocket fails in earth orbit, now yuo got tons of trash threatening any space mission up thier, possibly some surviving re entry and raining down all over the globe.
it would be a HUGE waist of metal resources as well..enventually in time, the metal the rocket is made of, would become depleted from earth sources, not being recycled back into things.
rocket could go off course around venus or mercury, contaminating those planets, with things like plastic, waist, chemicals that werent properly dispossed of, aka paint thinner, engine coolant, engine oil, yard debirs...those items almost always make it too the landfill. in return, making that planet more toxic*
its a fun idea lol but the cost and metal vastly outweigh convential down to earth means* personally, for hygenic reasons for the populous, im still in favor of incineration to make electricity. landfills suck..thier filled, covered, condos typically are built over them, them sold at full modern day cost, while the people mving in, are not aware thier new home is sitting right ontop of toxic gases and chemicals that most likely will eventually enter thier water and air.
At least with incineration, the toxic stuff is so minimal, and its all carbon ashes*

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:31 PM
Space travel is to expensive and time consuming now for it to work.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:43 PM
At first I thought, what a crazy idea. The Hefty bags would melt due the intense heat from the sun until I easily solved the them out at night.

Besides $10Billion later, I hear Yucca mountain is available.

[edit on 12-4-2010 by kinda kurious]

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:51 PM
If we shoot all the garbage into space, the mass of the earth would decrease. If we assume that the peoples of the earth produce four billion tonnes of waste per annum, the earth would be entirely ejected into the sun in less than 1.5 trillion years.

So, we might not have to worry about that, the sun will die well before we run out of trash but in a few billion years the loss of mass might cause problems with the earth's orbit.

Of course, as the mass decreases, less energy is required to hurl the waste into space, so eventually we would be able to build a giant catapult to throw the waste in sun's general direction.

If the sun did survive long enough and we continued to sun our garbage, the earth would become so small, that the earth would become a moon of the moon. Or would the moon float away first?

Well, I'm not sleeping tonight.

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:51 PM
Thinkng about it, it would be more cost effective and sensible to do it here on earth. When we do eventually create working fusion technology why not just throw it into the little "home-made" sun(s) and then the problem is sorted....

I'll get on the phone to the U.N now, call the scientists! A soloution may well have been found! haha....

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 05:52 PM
You could send junk to an Asteroid that is heading for the Sun. Apophis would be a good candidate. Our Sun could swallow Apophis without a burp, and there would be no affect on Earth, in fact the Sun could swallow the Earth, in about er, I forget maybe 100,000 years. Weedwacker could be the pilot to the Asteroid, Slim Pickens style, to alter Apophis trajectory

Edit to add; Actually, the more you think about it, the more profound the question is in regard to the distribution of mass in the Solar system, disregarding a mechanical means, but more by particle exchanges that must be going on regardless of any interference by us. There is obviously a balance in operation at the moment.

[edit on 12-4-2010 by smurfy]

posted on Apr, 12 2010 @ 06:00 PM
Politically, it would be a disaster.

Not to mention you would probably have to get more "government control" on a federal level to handle such a project.

Then you would have ATSers going crazy because now the govt is going through their trash tosearch for WMDs or for whatever reason they can come up with.

THEN, you would have to create a workforce almost army sized to get rid of all the trash on this planet.

Nasa would then be in the trash buisness.

But it would create jobs =)

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