Watch exponentially increasing space debris around Earth, It’s shocking

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Kshatriya87, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    http://www.tecake.com/watch-exponentially-increasing-space-debris-around-earth-shocking/

    Scienctists have released a new video revealing the deteriorating garbage management system in outer space. The video shows large amount of space chunk orbiting the Earth that poses risk of damaging space equipments like satellites and probes. Also these space chunks might get defelected and come to bite us in the near future.

    The mesmerising space video was made by Stuart Grey, a scinetists and lecturer at the University College London. The video correlates the amount of space debris present in 1957 with space chunks in 2015. It was 1957 when Russians launched the Sputnik satellite and released first of the man made chunk in space. Since, then there has been tremendous increase in the numbers and now these numbers have grown so much that they are threatening space projects and more importantly mankind itself.

    According to American Space Agency NASA, it currently tracks 20,000 such pieces, mostly from used rocket parts, non-functional satellites, and other objects that are measured to be larger than a softball. It also tracks objects the size of a marble (but smaller than a softball) and has counted about 500,000 such things in space. And then there are millions of other objects that are just too small to monitor.


    Every white dot in video represents a space debris released during space missions .Recently, one such man made space chunk dubbed as ‘WTF’ headed towards Earth, but got burnt due to atmospheric friction before hitting the Earth’s surface near Sri Lanka in Indian Ocean.

    Agencies have started proposing ideas to clear up space chunk before things quickly get out of hand. Moreover, reusable rocket can significantly reduce the number as these satellites donot leave chunks behind.
     
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  3. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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  4. amoy

    amoy Senior Member Senior Member

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    New junk collector could be used as anti-satellite weapon, Experts say
    By admin On 30 Jun, 2016 At 05:58 AM


    Is China militarising space? Experts say new junk collector could be used as anti-satellite weapon
    Craft could be used to attack satellites, according to some researchers

    A small spacecraft sent into orbit by the Long March 7 rocket launched from Hainan in southern China on Saturday is tasked with cleaning up space junk, according to the government, but some analysts claim it may serve a military purpose.

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    The Aolong-1, or Roaming Dragon, is equipped with a robotic arm to remove large debris such as old satellites.

    Tang Yagang, a senior satellite scientist with the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation, said the Aolong-1 was the first in a series of craft that would be tasked with collecting man-made debris in space.

    For instance, it could collect a defunct Chinese satellite and bring it back to earth, crashing it safely into the ocean, he said.

    “China, as a responsible big country, has committed to the control and reduction of space debris. In order to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities, our country is [working endlessly towards] achieving a technological breakthrough in space debris removal technology,” Tang says on the website of the China National Space Administration.

    But the question is: did China develop the cutting-edge technology only to clean up space junk?

    “It is unrealistic to remove all space debris with robots. There are hundreds of millions of pieces drifting out there,” said a researcher with the National Astronomical Observatories in Beijing.

    To the military, the robot had potential as an anti-satellite weapon, the researcher said.

    The Roaming Dragon is small, weighing only a few hundred kilos, so the prototype could be produced and launched in large numbers.

    During peacetime, the craft could patrol space and prevent defunct satellites from crashing into big cities such as Shanghai or New York.

    During wartime, they could be used as deterrents or directly against enemy assets in space, said the researcher.

    A NASA simulation showing the 10 million pieces of man-made debris orbiting the Earth. Photo: supplied

    It was also a “clean” anti-satellite weapon, the researcher said. In 2007, China conducted an anti-satellite test which blew up a dead weather probe with a missile. The test prompted an international outcry because the explosion generated such a large volume of debris.

    “This time no one will point a finger [at China],” the researcher said.

    Another mainland space engineering scientist said the role of the craft to pick up space debris was a “bold experiment” with a high chance of failure.

    “It looks simple, but some enormous challenges lie ahead, some that no other nation has solved,” said the expert.

    The development of the technology was mainly supported by the military, and kept confidential, he said.

    The first challenge in such missions was to get close to a “non-cooperative target”, the scientist said.

    But China had conducted numerous such rendezvous flights, he said. During the docking of the Shenzhou manned spacecraft to the Tiangong space laboratory, for instance, the two vehicles constantly exchanged information.

    “It is unrealistic to remove all space debris with robots. There are hundreds of millions of pieces drifting out there …”

    The Aolong-1, by contrast, would be trying to rendezvous with a piece of cold, unresponsive debris. It would need to search for and identify the target, then plan and adjust its own course of approach.

    Another challenge involves reaching out to any debris with Aolong’s robotic arm.

    To get a firm grip, the arm must aim for a specific target area – something that in space is likely to be constantly changing.

    Sensors and computers on Aolong will have to analyse the fast, irregular patterns of the tumbling target to guide its arm.

    Such challenges would test China’s technology to the limit, said the expert.

    China is not the only country developing the technology. The European Space Agency is expected to approve a similar project called e.deorbit later this year.

    The ESA was considering two different ways to capture the debris: one using a net and the other a robot arm. With a projected launch in 2023, the e.deorbit robot would “target a European derelict satellite in low orbit, capture it, then safely burn it up in a controlled atmospheric reentry,” the ESA says on its website.

    The ESA also claims the e.deorbit would be “the world’s first active debris removal mission”, though that is no longer true given the launch of Aolong-1.

    The United States Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) plans to launch a larger, more sophisticated craft for the US Air Force in 2020. The Phoenix in-orbit servicing programme had been scheduled for launch last year, but was delayed by technical and cost concerns.

    Unlike the Aolong and e.deorbit, the Phoenix would also be able to carry out jobs such as repairing, upgrading and refuelling ageing satellites.

    It would even be able to “turn foreign satellites into US spy satellites”, according to the US air force.

    Chinese researchers with the 502 Institute at the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation said last year that China would launch a multi-tasking space robot similar to the Phoenix, also by about 2020.

    The China National Space Administration says the nation’s blueprint for its space robots spans missions ranging from low earth orbit to Mars.
     
  5. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    maomao and Kshatriya87 like this.
  6. Kshatriya87

    Kshatriya87 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Its not a good idea though. I mean, we can build it, but don't use it. Using it will blow up the target creating debris flying in all directions at hundreds of miles per hour. This might damage other satellites and will cause a lot of condemnation from foreign countries. We might even have to pay for damages.
     
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  7. Mikesingh

    Mikesingh Senior Member Senior Member

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    Agreed! But the situation would only arise if there is an all-out world war using space assets too, which I guess will never take place. This is but a deterrent only.
     

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