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Friday, April 10, 2015

Strategic CSR - Space junk

Not content with polluting the earth, the article in the url below reports that we are also endeavoring to pollute space, too:
"Right now, there are more than 300,000 pieces of debris larger than a centimeter in diameter orbiting Earth. They range from tiny shards of metal to deactivated, decades-old satellites. Most are shrapnel from discarded rocket stages that have exploded after use, or satellites that have collided. Colloquially, all this debris is usually called 'space junk.'"
While we might be comfortable thinking this is none of our problem, it is a serious concern for the agencies in charge of space exploration:
"Together, the Department of Defense and NASA track the orbits of the 19,000 or so pieces of junk that are larger than a softball, alerting satellite operators when any satellite — including the International Space Station — is in danger, so they can move it."

And, it is a problem that is only getting worse:
"More space junk raises the chance of collisions, which in turn can lead to even more debris, until the sheer volume of space junk makes parts of space unusable."

The image this generates in my mind reminds me of the scene in the movie 'Wall-E' when we see the abandoned earth surrounded by orbiting space junk:
In many ways, I feel that movie is the shape (literally) of things to come for the human race. Switch cellphone screens for the TV screens that humans are strapped to in Wall-E and we are closer than we might like to think!
Have a good weekend
David Chandler & Bill Werther
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There are 300,000 pieces of garbage orbiting earth, and it's a big problem
By Joseph Stromberg
January 20, 2015