A new plan to fight the deadly remnants of space that could destroy satellites

Thousands of pieces of debris orbit our Earth (Getty)

Since 1957, thousands of space launches have left the Earth surrounded by an orbit in space, and now up to 26,000 objects are being tracked.

There are up to 900,000 smaller buildings – and pollution even beautifies the night sky.

This week, scientists gathered at the virtual 8th European Conference on Space Waste from Darmstadt, Germany.

Experts will discuss plans for the world’s first space debris mission – ClearSpace-1 – to launch in 2025.

Speaking at the conference, Space Station astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti spoke about the ever-present risk of impact and hull breaches, even on a well-protected space station.

Cristoforetti said, “We are training for these scenarios, there is a tool bag in which we can fix the hull breakthrough.

“We had several collision avoidance maneuvers while I was at the station, it was not a dramatic event.

“We are very conservative with the Space Station, it is surrounded by a large ‘pizza box’ with shields – and we avoid any waste that is monitored and is likely to come to the area.

“Concerns are not the bigger parts, something less that avoids those situations with situational information – but it still can’t break through.

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Recent years have shown unprecedented growth, primarily on small and commercial satellites in low-Earth orbits.

Large constellations are arranged, such as Elon Musk’s Starlon satellite.

Today, a total of about 2,800 objects are functional spacecraft. The remaining space remains, ie. Items that no longer serve useful purposes.

Samantha Cristoforetti, astronaut of the Italian Space Agency, guest at the XXXII International Book Fair in Turin in Lingotto Fiere, May 9, 2019 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Massimiliano Ferraro / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Samantha Cristoforetti, astronaut of the Italian European Space Agency (Photo Massimiliano Ferraro / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Most routinely monitored objects are fragments of about 550 decays, explosions, collisions, or anomalous events that resulted in the fragmentation of satellites or rocket bodies.

In addition, there is evidence of a much larger population of waste that cannot be operationally monitored.

It is estimated that there are about 900,000 objects larger than 1 cm and 128 million objects larger than 1 mm in the Earth’s orbit.

There are currently over 129 million objects larger than a millimeter around the Earth. They range from inactive satellites to flakes of paint.

But no matter how small the waste, anything that travels up to 56,000 km / h in orbit is dangerous if it comes in contact with many satellites that connect us around the world, whether it’s GPS, mobile phone data or the Internet .

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Objects created by humans in orbit around the Earth have already beautified the night sky by 10%, far more than previously believed, new research has shown.

New research means that the Earth has already crossed the threshold set by astronomers 40 years ago, which means that our planet is “polluted with light”.

Researchers warn that the illumination of the sky is deteriorating thanks to new satellite technologies such as the “mega constellation”.

This could mean that star explorers can no longer choose famous scenes like the Milky Way clouds, the researchers warned.

The new research is the first based on the overall impact of space objects, rather than on the performance of individual satellites.

The study included both functional satellites, as well as various debris such as stages of spent rockets.

The research was published in.

Miroslav Kocifaj of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Comenius University in Slovakia said, “Our primary motivation was to assess the potential contribution to the brightness of the night sky from external sources, such as space objects in Earth orbit.

“We expected the increase in sky brightness to be negligible, if at all, but our first theoretical estimates proved extremely surprising and thus encouraged us to report our results immediately.”

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