Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Space Crud Still Getting Worse!

So the movie Gravity didn't scare the crap right out of ya?  Well then check out yet another map of just how much junk is in orbit.  Every one of these dots is a potential accident just waiting to happen. 

This nightmarish obstacle course has NASA more than a bit worried (you have got to see the humor in that statement) in a recent report NASA suggested that models suggest that space debris has reached a critical level.  

Not everyone agrees with the assessment of the problem.  Hugh Lewis of Southampton University, UK has gone on record saying that Earth's belt of space waste has yet to pose a serious threat..... I think we can be a bit more upbeat, certainly if we are contemplating removing objects.

As the IO9 article points out that these technologies have yet to be fleshed out beyond the speculation period and will be decades before we see implementation. 

The first method should be reducing and eliminating any further increases in debris.   That and of itself is a difficult proposition at best.  But if something isn't started now then it is very likely in the very near future, space exploration may become almost impossible due to not being able to leave our own orbit because of space debris.

  • You can read more about the future of our relationship with space debris over at BBC News
  • The USNRC Report, "Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's
  • Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs" is available here

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