After polluting the Earth, it turns out that we are now polluting space. Not only could it jam into orbit and cause chaos, colliding with active satellites needed to monitor the Earth, but it could also release harmful chemicals that would burn up on re-entry and be released into the atmosphere, resulting in the ozone layer. will not only be destroyed, but could also pose problems for future launches and space exploration.
As our graph shows, most space junk comes from three countries: Russia, the United States, and China. Last November, Russia used an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) to blow up one of her old satellites, sending thousands of debris into orbit and risking crashing into the International Space Station. The Secure World Foundation estimates that at least 16 tests of his debris-producing ASAT weapon have been conducted so far. The most damaging was her 2007 China run, which shot down one of her satellites, creating an estimated 3,000 pieces of debris. But it was the United States that created her first ASAT test in the 1950s, and has conducted at least three of her ASAT debris creation tests since then, according to Data Center Dynamics. Two in the mid-1980s and one in 2008.
According to the OECD, active debris removal faces several “technical, geopolitical and economic challenges”. Building and launching a debris removal vehicle is expensive, and if it doesn’t work, it risks creating more debris. In addition to this, an OECD analyst explained: Satellites or satellites of close military alliances.
Nevertheless, many space missions are planned for the next few years, including the European Space Agency’s ClearSpace-1 and Japan’s Commercial Debris Removal Demonstration (CRD2) mission. Current solutions, according to the OECD, include the possibility of using lasers from space or the ground to “tweak” objects and create “artificial atmospheres” that deflect their orbits. The organization’s analysts concluded:
Clearly the space debris problem will need to be resolved soon as companies such as Boeing and SpaceX prepare to launch some 65,000 spacecraft into low Earth orbit.