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Posts tagged "space junk"
A graphic look at the increase in space debris around earth.

There’s 6,300 tonnes of space junk orbiting Earth — Astonishing interactive visualizations

A graphic look at the increase in space debris around earth.


There’s 6,300 tonnes of space junk orbiting Earth — Astonishing interactive visualizations

(via science-junkie)

The problem of space junk or space debris is increasing. And with out greater dependence on satellites is a grave problem.


There’s a lot of debris floating around in space, and researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab are using supercomputers, optical sensors and other technology to track even small objects that could damage important satellites.

John Henderson, a space scientist at LLNL, explains:

“Everybody uses GPS to get from here to there. We have satellite television, we have weather reports, farmers use satellite data for monitoring crops. If you have a piece of satellite debris whacking into a satellite, in the worst case you now lose that capability.  In February of 2009, that actually happened where there was an Iridium communications satellite that collided with a dead Russian Kosmos satellite and so that basically took out a $100 million dollar satellite.

There’s somewhere between 100,000 to 200,000 pieces of debris that we would like to be tracking. And so the supercomputing capabilities that we have here at Livermore are one way to keep track of that.”

A graphic look at the huge mass of space junk out there.



To Fix the Giant Near-Tipping-Point Cloud of Space Trash Encircling the Earth, We May Need Space Harpoons

Every where we go we leave pollution and debris.

A graphic look at the problem of space debris.


just a rough representation of how much space junk is out there

(via starstuffblog)

The European Space Agency (ESA) to host a conference to examine the problem of space debris.


Space debris hazards spotlighted at conference

In 2013, ESA will host a gathering of international specialists to study space debris hazards. The four-day event will spotlight the risks posed to space exploration by the growing number of debris objects in near-Earth space.

ESA will host the 6th European Conference on Space Debris at its European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany, 22–25 April.

The conference is expected to attract more than 300 leading experts from worldwide. It is co-sponsored by the British, French, German and Italian space agencies (UKSA, CNES, DLR and ASI), the UN Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the International Academy of Astronautics.

Today, citizens worldwide rely on space assets to enable a wide and growing range of economically vital activities.

Just some of the space-based benefits on which all of us rely include TV, weather forecasting, Internet, daily banking, monitoring of crops and optimisation of farming, disaster relief and door-to-door navigation.

Space debris stem from man-made objects such as defunct satellites, upper stages, discarded rocket components and even dropped astronaut gloves.

Many of these objects that orbit our planet have the potential to break up or explode, proliferating the problem.

It is estimated that the levels of debris in orbit is of the order of 29 000 pieces larger than 10 cm (with 23 000 of them regularly tracked), 670 000 larger than 1 cm and more than 170 million larger than 1 mm. Some debris travels at up to 56 000 km/hr.

“Any of these objects can cause harm to an operational spacecraft,” says Heiner Klinkrad, Head of ESA’s Space Debris Office.

“A collision with a 10 cm object would cause a catastrophic fragmentation, a 1 cm object could disable a normal-size spacecraft or penetrate the shields of the specially protected ISS, and a 1 mm object could destroy sensitive satellite sensors.”

ESA’s 2013 conference will provide a forum for scientists, engineers and managers from all major spacefaring nations, including space operators, industry, academia and policy bodies, to present the latest findings, discuss policy and technical options and help define future directions for research on all aspects of space debris.

Topics will include measurement techniques, environment modelling theories, risk analysis, protection designs, mitigation and remediation concepts, and policy and legal issues.

Special sessions will be devoted to active debris removal, in support of space debris environment remediation, with the aim to ensure the long-term sustainability of activities in space.

The conference will also promote the regular discussions taking place in a number of organisations, including the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and the working group on Long-term Sustainability of Space Activities (LTSSA) of the Scientific and Technical Subcommittee of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNCOPUOS).

Space Debris: A graphic view of just how serious the space junk problem really is.


Space Junk

Space Junk: A conceptual harpoon to solve the space debris problem.


Harpoon Engineered To Catch Space Junk, Push It To Burn Out On Re-Entry

Currently in a conceptual stage, the system is designed to shoot defunct satellites or other debris with a harpoon mounted on a “chaser satellite” and use a tethered propulsion pack to send the rubbish in an atmospheric descent where it’ll burn up. Since the projectile could shoot straight through targets and result in even more garbage, it’s been fashioned with a crushable portion to reduce its speed upon impact.

Get Adobe Flash player (via UK engineers developing harpoon that could help space junk meet a fiery end — Engadget See Also: Space junk could be hunted down by harpoon-firing satellites | Ars Technica)

(via starstuffblog)