Is There Too Much Space Junk?

A recent study by the National Research Council finds that space junk  …

has reached a tipping point, with enough currently in orbit to continually collide and create even more debris, raising the risk of spacecraft failures.

Well, it was bound to happen.   Us humans, despite efforts to the contrary, are messy beasts.  Where we go, we inevitably leave a trail of rubbish behind us.  Space, it seems, is no different.  But now, as is often the case with our trash,  it’s gotten dangerous.  So what do we do about it?

It isn’t easy.  Attempts to destroy debris just creates more debris.  DARPA (Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) conducted their own study, resulting in proposals for a range of solutions including, nets, harpoons, and other spearing and collection devices.

Becoming a space garbage man may not be a glamorous concept.  But it may be the next important mission for NASA.    And, frankly, we think it’s a good one.


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