There are currently millions of pieces of trash orbiting Earth, everything from defunct satellites all the way down to tiny flecks of paint.
Each of those millions of pieces of debris is traveling 17,500 miles per hour as it hurtles through space. At those speeds, a collision with an active satellite or spacecraft can cause serious damage. And experts think that if humans don’t do something about all the junk up there pretty soon, low Earth Orbit could become unusable.
This episode we take on a future where space junk has gotten so bad, that active spacecraft are constantly having to maneuver around it, which wastes fuel and cuts down on operation time. And humans decide to finally do something about it. But what?
Full transcript available in site.
- Loren Grush, science reporter at The Verge
- Lisa Ruth Rand, historian of science technology and the environment.
- Tiago Soares, systems engineer for ESA’s Clean Space program
- Andrew Wolahan, systems engineer for ESA’s e.deorbit program
- Alice Gorman, space archaeologist at Flinders University
- Jill Stuart, space policy & law expert at the London School of Economics
- Tracking Space Junk
- How can humans clean up our space junk?
- The Space Junk Problem is About to get a Whole Lots Gnarlier
- Orbital Decay: Space Junk and the Environmental History of Earth’s Planetary Borderlands
- The Forgotten Cold War Plan That Put A Ring Of Copper Around The Earth
- Project West Ford, NASA Repository
- Want to get rid of space trash? This gecko-inspired robot may do the trick
- Japanese mission to clear up space junk ends in failure
- This is what happens when a tiny piece of flying space debris hits the ISS
- ESA Envisat
- ESA Clean Space
- ESA e.deorbit
- Space Age Archaeology
- The Death of a Spacecraft
- What is Space Archaeology?
- The Outer Space Treaty has been remarkably successful – but is it fit for the modern age?