Space Junk: A Threat In The Dark
Humanity has belittled the very calm nature with which he was gifted.
Man belongs to the earth, but not only does the earth belong to man, man has used it in every possible way.
Its destructive expanse has even passed into the less touched space.
It won’t be hard to imagine that there are quite a number of man-made objects (the US and Russia estimated the number at trillions) floating in space thousands of miles away. Everything is human inheritance.
Space debris covers all sorts of things, like matter left over from previous space missions, objects that were sent into space from Earth.
Even weird items like copper needles, Lego figures, dead animals (including over 30 monkeys and Laika, the dog, etc), family portraits of astronauts, and even the ashes of the Star Trek creator.
The space agencies have repeatedly highlighted the “critical” abundance of space debris that has reached abnormal levels.
ESA said: “There are already 17,000 trackable objects larger than a coffee cup that threaten work assignments with a catastrophic collision. Even a 1cm nut could hit with the power of a hand grenade. “
800 to 965 km orbits over the poles are worst hit by this debris, as it already contains many of the 5,000+ satellites that have been launched by mankind since space travel began, meaning much of this debris is moving within from 1,250 miles from the earth’s surface.
How long it takes for a piece of space debris to fall back to Earth depends on its altitude.
They even tried to remove 5-10 large satellites from space each year, which would just be enough to stop the debris cloud from growing.
Knowledge of the growing problem:
It started in 2009 where it was seen about 500 miles over Siberia. The two satellites collided at about 22,300 miles per hour and burst in a cloud of thousands of debris.
The objects that collided in this high-speed accident were the inactive Russian satellite Cosmos 2251 and the active US communications satellite Iridium 33.
The catastrophic ending marked the first such occurrence of satellite collisions in space and a startling reminder of the growing problem of space debris.
Avoiding such hits and failures::
Since the amount of debris in space threatens both manned and unoccupied space travel, a probability is created for each active object.
For a space shuttle, the risk is 1 in 300
For missions to the Hubble Space Telescope, the risk was 1 in 185.
The risk of a hit with the International Space Station (ISS) is 1 in 100,000.
In such a case, the astronauts perform a debris avoidance maneuver, which involves raising the orbit of the ISS to avoid the collision.
With the amount of space debris increasing, there are fears that such collisions could trigger a chain reaction (named Kessler syndrome after American scientist Donald Kessler).
As a result, different countries began to protect their respective satellites and thus track those inactive junk to be successfully avoided.
From 2020 the United States Space Surveillance Network tracked more than 14,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm in diameter.
British satellite Remove DEBRIS, launched in 2018 and deployed by the ISS, tested two different technologies for removing space debris:
capture with a mesh
catch with a harpoon.
SPACE-TRACK.org is a publicly accessible repository maintained by the U.S. Defense Wing.
It tracks space activity, ie incoming “space debris”.
The space debris can also be deleted with Artificial intelligence by using robotic arms of a conquest missile to capture the garbage and pull it back into the earth’s atmosphere.
Deep learning algorithms can be developed to estimate the goal from video sequences and images recorded in space.
In a similar way Network for tracking and analyzing space objects (NETRA) was launched by ISRO (Space and Military).
It will protect India’s 50 functioning satellites in space using a ground network of telescopes and radars under the Space Situation Awareness and Management Directorate.
Just as we are Mission Clean on earth, we also have to get our rubbish out of space.