All You Need To Know About Space Junk

What comes to your mind when you hear the word, ‘Space Junk’? It is not a rock music band or a candy bar. It does not sound pleasant to the ears. Millions of pieces of space debris or space junk are floating above the surface of Earth. If you would be on another planet and Earth was your neighbor, you would complain to the cops that your neighbors are not being responsible and they are throwing all the debris in the atmosphere and polluting the solar system. Fortunately, your planet is responsible for causing space junk.

Australian scientists found out that there are a lot of artificial objects around the orbit of Earth. You are probably wondering what space junk is. Here is a quick article for you to understand the meaning of space junk, the implications and the way we can solve it.

What is space junk?

Space junk is the debris or trash which left behind when human exploration is done on the orbit. The debris includes the waste materials from the astronaut suits, old satellites, pieces of rocket and other artificial objects which do not belong on the orbit.

What are the implications?

You may think that it is just a piece of rocket or an old satellite. How much damage can it cause? If you ask us, that little piece can be disastrous and it can cause harm to the universe. The piece of junk will travel at a high speed and chances are that they will collide with the functional spacecrafts. It does not seem like a pleasant scenario! Do you know that the little pieces of debris can destroy the satellites? It could hamper the communication on Planet Earth. Orbital debris is a threat to expensive spacecrafts and satellites. What do you plan to do about it? The sad part is that human beings have not even left the space. You can clean up the debris in your neighborhood and it will not pose a critical problem. However, the orbital debris is a serious issue. It can harm the astronauts as well.

space debris
A computer generated image shows space junk

 

How can we solve the problem?

Satellites and spacecrafts are expensive. It takes a lot of investment to build them and launch them in the sky. It is not a small problem and it has to be addressed. The good news is that the problem of space junk can be solved. Space junk is dangerous and there are some ways to deal with the problem.

  • Economists proposed a space tax called Pigovian tax which discourages the launch of a number of satellites. A tax would be levied to launch a satellite and that will be used for cleaning the debris.
  • Recycling old satellites would be a noble idea. If satellites are moving in space as debris, one can recycle them and use them again.
  • Astrium is a British Firm, who is building a harpoon which could drag the debris back to the atmosphere.
  • The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency is creating a type of fishing net that captures all the debris. It is such a unique idea! A satellite would be launched and it would have a net. It will magnetically attract all the orbital junk. Now that sounds like a plan!

We cannot see the trash which is floating around because we are just a small part of the Universe. However, it is important to address the problem of space junk. The above mentioned ways can be followed for reducing the space junk in the orbit. Why pollute the orbit? It would be such a big disaster for mankind! It is time to do get rid of the space junk.