Almost 20,000 pieces of space debris are currently orbiting the Earth. This visualisation, created by Dr Stuart Grey, lecturer at University College London and part of the Space Geodesy and Navigation Laboratory, shows how the amount of space debris increased from 1957 to 2015, using data on the precise location of each piece of junk.
We are a truly slovenly species.
4 thoughts on “Over a half-century of crap in space”
“Was the mysterious object that fell from the sky onto the Navajo Nation from outer space? Or is there a more earthly explanation?” https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/arizona/2020/11/19/navajo-nation-officials-say-satellite-fell-sky-landed-dennehotso/6343676002/
“Space debris removal demonstration launches” https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-56482726
An old Soviet-era rocket body almost collided with an errant military satellite last week, according to private satellite tracking company LeoLabs, narrowly avoiding a huge orbital disaster.
The SL-8 rocket body, a giant piece of space debris that experts have been tracking for many years and which orbits the Earth at an altitude of 611 miles, came within just 20 of the other craft [Cosmos 2361], according to LeoLabs, narrowly missing the “worst-case scenario.”
A collision between large pieces of space debris could result in a massive cloud of new fragments that would remain in Earth’s orbit for years to come, endangering other missions and perhaps even creating a chain reaction.
As NASA scientist Donald Kessler famously first posited in 1978, collisions in space could cause a cascade of new smashes, cluttering the Earth’s orbit with even more space debris — and, possibly, eventually making it impossible to launch anything new into orbit, satellite or otherwise. https://futurism.com/the-byte/large-chunks-space-debris-almost-collided
7AM MST, tomorrow morning, 2nd