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Forget Alien Invasions - Space Junk Is The Real Threat From Space

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posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:03 PM

We have argued for decades that we are running out of space for our garbage in the thousands of landfills currently peppering the globe... Now we are faced with another problem with our junk and it's far from the surface of the Earth.

Forget alien invasions! The real problem facing the space program is space junk, which is getting out of hand. Over the past 50 years, the great powers have considered outer space to be the ultimate dumping ground. So far, over 20,000 pieces of space junk, from millimeters in size all the way up to the size of 9 ton booster rockets are currently being tracked by military computers. If one considers pieces of junk down to .5 inches, which are quite difficult to track, then one might estimate that there might be as many as half a million or more pieces of junk, ranging from paint flecks to metal shavings, stray gloves and even tools such as screw drivers and wrenches.

The dangers posed by debris caught in orbit around the Earth is not a new problem and NASA scientists have been talking about it for years. Several computer models of the debris field have been created with vast amounts of data with some estimates stating that the debris will remain until 2055, after which it will increase. One NASA scientist estimated that around 40% (as of 2006) are a direct result of breakups from both spacecraft and rocket bodies. The computer generated illustration below (provided by ESA via depicts the density of space junk around Earth in low-Earth orbit.

This is a little frightening of a story coming from a physicist. The fact that he considers space junk to be such a menace is unsettling to say the least.

We should start blasting these objects out of orbit with lasers and sending them into the depth of space. Then, we could have many little remnants of our pathetic species spread throughout our neighborhood.

All I know is we should be taking this seriously considering the source. We need to start thinking productively.

Any thoughts?


posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:07 PM
Yeah man, from what I've been hearing, for some years now, is that there is a lot of space junk floating around out there and we continue to add to that. What's really sad is that it will get to the point that there is so much junk we'll never be able to lift off into outer space again, unless we figure out some way to clean the areas first. Isn't this why the ISS is coming offline soon, or am I confusing this?
edit on 12-9-2011 by Swills because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:21 PM
E. Coli bacteria thrives in orbit,

Cultures of Escherichia coli grown in space reached a 25% higher average final cell population than those in comparably matched ground controls (p

posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:42 PM
yeah lets make space are trash can it wasnt made to be littered..

posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:46 PM
reply to post by shadowreborn89

But humans love to destroy our planet without care, why would they care about space. Disgusting really. First our planet, now space.
edit on 12-9-2011 by TheWorldSpins because: Forgot the T in planet

posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 10:55 PM
Great targets for new laser weapons.
Also a great project for some smart engineers that can design a robot to collect or zap the small pieces, which are probably the deadliest. A new industry waiting for a solution!

posted on Sep, 12 2011 @ 11:23 PM

this picture from the internet, with a simple search, is incredible.
I do not know if this picture is accurate, but it really illustrates your point.

the preview isn't showing the picture, hope it comes thru.

I agree that if we as humans keep filling our outer atmosphere with junk, pretty soon sunblock won't be needed.
The sun will not be able to shine thru all the cr*p.

posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:02 AM
reply to post by MissPoovey

And they're talking about global warming. We are using junk to block out a good chunk of the sun.

I wonder if this could be used to curb global warming if this becomes a problem? Block the heat from even getting here.


posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 12:11 AM

I wonder how long before the objects begin to rain down? As far as blasting them into space that would not be an option as far as our cosmic neighbors are concerned...

posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 01:42 AM
Maybe elenin will come by and suck some of it off into space.
The comet could have a entire tail of space junk dragging along like a train.

posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:14 PM
reply to post by antar

Well if they were in stable orbit then they will never come down. They are all falling towards earth but have enough forward momentum to miss earth every time they pass. If the get hit by a micro meteorite or another piece of space junk then they could come crashing down, which is a possibility.


posted on Sep, 13 2011 @ 03:22 PM
reply to post by predator0187

I have wondered how space shuttles get out beyond it without getting into serious accidents? Also I have considered reflections off many of these objects are mistaken for UFOs...

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