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Old 19-04-17, 18:26   #1
 
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Earth 'We've Left Junk Everywhere in Space'

Explosion in Space Junk Will Cause Satellite Crashes 'to Soar by 50%'
> as Experts Warn of New Mega-Constellations
  • A decrease in the cost of the manufacture of satellites will lead to a boom
  • There will be massive rise in number of active satellites from 1,300 currently
  • Collisions would increase the amount of space junk in orbit, warn experts
Daily Mail UK, 19 April 2017.


The launch of 'mega-constellations' of thousands of communication satellites could lead to a rise in collisions and build-up of space junk in Earth's orbit, scientists have warned.



A decrease in the cost of the manufacture of satellites is set to lead to the deployment of hundreds or thousands into space from next year, creating a massive rise in the number of active satellites from the 1,300 currently in use.

But Dr Hugh Lewis, senior lecture in aerospace engineering at the University of Southampton, has warned a 200-year computer simulation has shown the creation of a mega-constellation could create a 50% increase in the number of 'catastrophic collisions' between satellites.





The launch of 'mega-constellations' of thousands of communication satellites could lead to a rise in collisions and build-up of space junk in Earth's orbit


He said this would increase the amount of space junk in orbit leading to the possibility of further collisions and the subsequent impact on the services provided by the satellites.
He said: 'There has been a paradigm shift in the manufacturing of satellites. The cost of making a single communications satellite usually runs to hundreds of millions of pounds, but mass-produced satellites will potentially be much cheaper.





Experts from the European Space Agency have warned that millions of objects floating in orbit around the planet could one day lead to a collision like an 'exploding grenade' in space - similar to scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster Gravity



'The constellations that are due to be deployed from next year contain an unprecedented number of satellites - and a constellation launched without much thought will see a significant impact on the space environment because of the increased rate of collisions that might occur.'
Dr Lewis' study, funded by the European Space Agency, has created a series of guidelines to help prevent collisions including decreasing the amount of time spent in low orbit after the end of a mission, making the satellites smaller and more lightweight, adding propulsion systems and deploying missions to remove faulty satellites.



Quote:
THE WORLD OF SPACE JUNK

Since the first object, Sputnik One, was launched into space 53 years ago, mankind has launched thousands of spacecraft, satellites and rockets into space.
This has created a swarm of tens of millions of pieces of debris.

The rubbish circling the planet comes from old rockets, abandoned satellites and missile shrapnel.
But it also includes a missing spatula, a lost glove and a stray toothbrush.
Bags of rubbish ejected into space by cosmonauts on board the Mir Space Station also still pose a risk.

Among the more unusual items to be added to the list of space junk was a spatula dropped by astronaut Piers Sellers while conducting repairs on the space shuttle discovery in 2006.

A tool bag was lost by astronaut Heide Stefanyshyn in 2008 and it added to the hazards in orbit until it burned up in 2009.

A glove was lost by astronaut Ed White on the first US space-walk and a pair of pliers were lost during a space walk in 2007.


See How Much Space Debris Increased Between 1957-2015




Space Junk - Space Debris Falling To Earth (Full Documentary)


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