What is space debris?

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What is space debris?

Most earthlings are unaware of this, but the garbage stalks us. And not exactly milk cartons, plastic bags or soft drink cans, which pose a real problem on their own. As we leave Earth, another kind of junk has all satellite owners on pins and needles.

At least 10,000 objects of about 10 centimetres in size orbit our planet. Among them, you won’t find that sock that disappeared in the black hole of your drying machine, so don’t get your hopes up. This space junk consists of remains of rockets, obsolete ships, small fragments of paint and several kinds of materials lost during space missions. The bad news is that this stuff moves at a speed of about 27,000 kilometres per hour, which makes it difficult to catch and highly dangerous to the other floating objects, such as telecom satellites.

Once we’ve monitored the space debris, next question is how we get rid of it. For the time being, many options have been considered, but the one being retained as the most effective is the destruction into the Earth atmosphere: it happens through direct capture or by lowering their orbits around the planet.

While scientists agree on which is the safest method for our planet, a series of measures have been outlined to stop the growth of space debris population. .Many solutions may exist. In particular it is considered mandatory to prevent the creation of more space debris in the future thanks to mitigation guidelines, innovative design and technologies.