The space right above our planet's atmosphere is cluttered with human technology and space junk, and it's getting more crowded up there all the time. Sure, the vastness of the universe is practically infinite, but there are only a few Lagrange points
, and artificial satellites have started to run into traffic problems
-- including intentional satellite destruction that might not be quite innocuous. Wars over outer space might become a real thing in the not so distant future, if it's not happening already.
- About 1,300 active satellites are orbiting right now, and there doesn't seem to be much agreement on a new code of conduct for spacefaring nations. Anti-satellite weaponry has been around for about as long as artificial satellites have existed, and billions will be spent over the next few years to maintain and further develop military space programs. [url]
- The US is creating a centralized operations center for monitoring space threats such as spy and military satellites. This project will also aggregate satellite data to try to better monitor situations on the ground (or on the water) as well. Thankfully, no one is training astronauts in zero-G hand-to-hand combat.... [url]
- Is it possible to launch a satellite as an individual? Not just some weather balloon junk, but a cubesat or something that will actually orbit a few times... Yes, but it'll cost you over $100,000 to hitch a ride on a Soyuz mission. Korean artist, Hojun Song, successfully launched a 1-kg cubesat called OSSI-1 -- so if you have the resources, it can be done. And presumably, your satellite will have to be completely harmless, so you don't start an international incident. [url]
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