DailyDirt: Who's Going To Clean Up All The Space Junk?

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Putting satellites and spacecraft into low earth orbit is getting easier and less expensive all the time, but that also means we're possibly creating even more orbiting space junk around our planet -- without any way to remove this garbage. Man-made space debris is already a problem, and as we shoot more stuff up into space, it could become an even bigger problem. There are at least a few folks who are concerned about space pollution, but there aren't that many workable solutions (yet). If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post.

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    jakerome (profile), 2 Jul 2012 @ 11:55pm

    Space budgets...

    aren't like normal budgets. $80 million (40 tons at $1000/pound) is cheap, really, and pays off by avoiding even one lost satellite. The downside is that EVERY low-earth satellite would be slowed by this debris, leading to shorter lifespans for all low earth satellites. That's because fuel is needed to keep the satellite from slowing too much, and running out of fuel is often the life-limiting factor for satellites. It might be interesting as a 1-off, since there's tons (literally) of uncontrolled space debris largely from the early years of space programs when there was less concern about junk.

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