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Space Junk Growing 'Increasingly Hazardous' to Astronauts, Spacecrafts

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posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 02:14 PM
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Now that we've trashed the rest of the planet, it looks like Earth's space environment is next.



According to NASA, more than 500,000 pieces of debris, or "space junk," is tracked as its orbits the Earth, 20,000 pieces of which are larger than a softball. These pieces are not just meandering by, however; they can travel at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. Even something as small as a paint fleck can damage a satellite or spacecraft, NASA said.

In June, the crew aboard the International Space Station got a scare when a piece of space debris got a bit too close for comfort, prompting them to take cover inside Russian space capsules. Lucky for them, the debris only came within 850 feet of the ISS before continuing on its way.


Full Article

I would say whoever put the debris out there should clean it up, but it's more complicated than that.



There are also political and diplomatic issues, since only about 30 percent of the galaxy's debris is from the United States. International legal standards state that a country cannot salvage or collect another country's space objects, which could pose some problems since the debris isn't exactly grouped into convenient country clusters.


Any thoughts on how we could resolve this?




posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 02:20 PM
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Any thoughts on how we could resolve this?


Switch to using anti-gravity ships for human space flight. They don't fill orbit with used & discarded rocket stages and inter-stage couplings, etc.



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 02:23 PM
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What are they going to do about this? Seems Earthlings junk up our own planet and moving our trash on down to the Universe as well. Making everything one big giant landfill. The solution is to clean up our acts!



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 02:27 PM
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Could you imagine the profits from harvesting this space junk.

Quick, somebody get ahold of Branson and have him send up SpaceShipOne, attach a small propulsion unit and parachute and send all of it to the Arizona desert.



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 02:37 PM
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how about cancel the law about not collecting others junk. first come first serve. come and get it! should cause a nice rush from all the big countries to go and get everyone elses stuff for the knowledge! that or we could out source it to india or to the illegal immagrants lol.



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 03:37 PM
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Place a number on specks, and you get overreactions, place a number of the volume of space the junk is within, it gets ignored.

I find it fascinating that an agency's technology can track and account for 500,000 orbiting debris most smaller than a softball, do you have any idea how much real estate that covers? It would be like finding a grain of sand in the middle of the Sahara, or in fact, LEO.


Originally posted by Larryman

Any thoughts on how we could resolve this?
Switch to using anti-gravity ships for human space flight. They don't fill orbit with used & discarded rocket stages and inter-stage couplings, etc.

Or we could just call Scotty and see where he gets the dilithium crystals and how they use them.


Originally posted by mimefromhell
What are they going to do about this? Seems Earthlings junk up our own planet and moving our trash on down to the Universe as well. Making everything one big giant landfill. The solution is to clean up our acts!

An average flat in Harlem has more particles of garbage than LEO, in a trillionth of the area space.


Originally posted by TDawgRex
Could you imagine the profits from harvesting this space junk.

No, I can’t imagine the profit in spending a quarter billion dollars to send a ship up with enough cargo space and support time to scope up a bunch of garbage, to land and retrieve back on earth. You could make a thousand dollars after spending a quarter billion to manufacture and launch such a ship.


Originally posted by sempul
how about cancel the law about not collecting others junk.

The first actual sane response. If you have the means in place, why not help clean up or blast some crap into earth escape velocity?

People like to harp on the waste of money NASA spent on the Space Shuttle, but it was one of the few, if not the only LEO spacecraft to leave nothing left behind in LEO, except maybe human waste, sent to burn up into the atmosphere and unused fuel release before reentry, that, burns up!

I know a lot of people post to make fun or for genuine joviality, but really now…

Why don't we place bigger heavier pieces of junk up there, on collision courses to destroy our foe's communications and military satellites instead? One would think something internationally would eventually be address then about some ridiculously stupid law (that I don't see anyway of being enforced)!!!



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 03:45 PM
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I read somewhere this morning that an average of a hundred near earth orbit space bodies pass within earth lunar orbit every day. Some may be less than a meter in diameter or smaller, and would totally burn up if ever entered the earth atmosphere, but people saying that the technology and awareness of earth impact threats are lacking you just don't know jack, and you can't blame of hold America accountable for shat that ain't ours! There's a lot of crap out there in a near infinite area of mostly empty space, most of which is in orbit around the sun and not earth.



posted on Sep, 1 2011 @ 05:22 PM
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reply to post by Illustronic
 


Well, I was talking about the privatization space, not a goverment entity. I still think that some of the larger satelittes would be worth the trip.

The softball sized ones....well, DUCK!



posted on Sep, 6 2011 @ 11:09 AM
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If we continue to ignore solutions to cleaning up this space junk, aren't we going to eventually "box" ourselves in to planet earth with a resulting inability to leave the planet and explore? From what I have read, the space junk (even little tiny specs of paint) is no joke and could easily down a manned aircraft due to the velocity it is traveling at. My fear is that by the time we are willing to invest the billions needed to clean the crap up, it will already be such a problem that we can no longer employ the machinery needed to clean it up.



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