Since the launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957, there has been a continual upload of space-borne hardware into earth orbit, some with high-value (GPS, Hubble, etc), some obsolete and some quite dangerous. If you’ve seen the movie “Gravity” (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney), you kind of get the picture. This problem isn’t going to fix itself and, sooner or later, an international solution needs to be implemented. We, quite literally, need to clean up our own backyard.
The stormy weather has hit one of my local beaches here in Cornwall and with it there has been a massive amount of pink bottles washed up on Poldhu cove. 27000 bottles of Vanish detergent were lost from a container ship west of Lands end and have spent months at the bottom of the ocean before the stormy weather has washed them ashore. A clean-up is occurring with many volunteers arriving each day to help remove the plastic, although some have leaked detergent fortunately many of the bottles are still sealed.
However difficult it is to clear up my local beach it is considerable harder to deal with rubbish in space. NASA currently tracks 20000 pieces of space junk and the amount is ever increasing. This recent image highlights how the Earth’s orbit is becoming increasing cluttered.
IMAGE CREDIT Royal Institute of Great Britain.
During 2015 the…
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