The earth is right now creaking under the weight of close to 7 billion people, and it goes without saying that the more one consumes, the more there is a need to be able to dispatch of such trash in a prime and proper manner. Landfills are fast running out of space, and with the space age kicking off a few decades ago, even plenty of rubbish has been left orbiting around our earth. Is there something that can be done to get rid of all the unwanted rubbish that circulates through the orbit?
Hundreds of thousands of objects are orbiting in high-velocity swarms around the Earth. Many of these, in the event of a collision, could ignite catastrophic accidents junking the world’s orbital telecommunications networks. Australian company Electro Optic Systems (EOS) is leading efforts to track this potentially killer debris 38,000km (24,000 miles) above our heads, and is at the forefront of a boom in Australian space research. EOS chief executive Ben Greene says space agencies are worried that a trivial metal bolt could hit a satellite, breaking off more space junk missiles that would cripple other satellites. He estimates there are 20,000 orbiting objects “bigger than a football”, but hundreds of thousands the size of a nut or bigger, and that a massive space pile-up is likely within 20 years.
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