Announcement Official Space Chat Thread!

MMohammed

Community Manager
Staff member
Oct 10, 2019
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Hi, folks!

If you don't know by now, we'd like to introduce you to Space Chat, our weekly livestream concerning all things space. Our very own Chelsea Gohd takes on a different astronomical theme every Friday and answers all of your burning questions.

This week's Space Chat focuses on Saturn! Check it out below and be sure to check out the show every Friday!

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQiQMYamDn4



 
Last edited:
Sep 2, 2020
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Unfortunately humans are just in the equivalent of the stone age of space technology development and most of the leaders in charge of the space-faring countries have their own mind in the stone age itself so I believe that any planetary body humans approach they'll become space junk dump in their surface as well as in their low orbit. This gives anexample of how dangerous humans are.
 
Apr 15, 2020
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I am quite surprised that those who can put satellites into space don't even make an effort to remove "space junk"... or at least create an ever expanding Junk Yard in space so that New satellites don't run the risk of being disabled from being hit by junk.
 
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Jan 6, 2020
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It seems to me when "Space Garbage" is discarded to orbit, it's not all that different from the "Middle Ages" when people threw out the contents of their chamber pots into the streets. Every act of blindly tossing unwanted things into an environment, has consequences not recognized, when an object or hazard enters environmental system.

Everything sent into space, should include a simple method of disposing waste products like this "pallet" of used batteries from the "Space Station." One of the most obvious methods of getting rid of space garbage which is being overlooked, is our Solar System's built-in incinerator.

If we can send a Rover to Mars successfully, it should be easy to build a system to insert space junk out of orbit and into a trajectory into the Sun. Here on Earth we use incinerators to dispose of certain types of trash. Many of the discarded waste is hazardous such as medical waste, closed system incinerating toilets in remote cabins and other specific types of man-made materials which out live their usefulness. Vehicles, tires, paper, cardboard, metals and a host of other items are routinely repurposed, or eliminated by using fire as a method of disposing things which would bury us otherwise.

"Space Junk" is becoming a real concern faced by manned crews orbiting the planet. It may seem as though the "empty vacuum" of space is infinite, but all of the great tools used in our scientific missions have an end life, which needs to be addressed when its time comes to an end. If we continue the dumping, we will eventually experience a collision between a piece of aborted debris with a manned space object.

It isn't as though is "IF" it might happen, it is a matter of when it will happen. Good safety planning is part of dealing with the hazards produced by Science as the results of the Science itself. Mitigating such hazards has to be built into the materials used and launched into orbit.
 
Jan 6, 2020
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Chelsey: Humans have had a garbage mentality since the Middle Ages, and this mentality; whether intentional or due to ignorance; has unintended consequences. As I said above, during the Middle Ages when large cities began to come into existence, people had no knowledge about diseases and how they were spread among the population. In London, people simply threw biological waste into the street. Some lazy individuals would simply open a window from an upper story and would hit people walking on the street below.

It is the reason sewers began to come into existence and our current sewage systems have evolved into how they protect us today. When I think about "Space Junk," I perceive it as non-functional satellites, no longer useful equipment such as the two thousand pound pallet of batteries just jettisoned from the "Space Station," or other debris in orbit no matter the size.

The tiny pieces of debris you mention is a fact future space travelers will have to accept as a risk. We have no way of cleaning this stuff up from orbit. There is no giant vacuum cleaner to suck this debris up and package it in a bag like we do in our homes. Beside that, how would you design a vacuum cleaner, to work inside of a vacuum, even if we wanted to build something to do this. We would have to go back to the concept of the old "Street Cleaner " from days gone a long time ago, for the most part.

If we put newly functioning satellites into orbit they have to fall within two categories.:

1. Things which will rely on having an orbit which will degrade and use the Earth's atmosphere to completely destroy it; or
2. A method of packaging the aborted stuff onto a "space garbage scow," to package up the waste and dispose of it properly.

The concept of relying the atmosphere as the primary method of burning up debris is fine, as long as the objects entering the atmosphere and small enough for friction to do the job. But I have serious concerns about large objects such as the two thousand pound bank of batteries being completely destroyed before it hit hits the ground.

My background is in the scientific field of Safety Management. In this field of Science, we deal with both known and unknown hazards, should the "what if" occur. In the case of a battery package as large as the one discarded by the Space Station; we have no way of knowing how the batteries and its components will react to re-entry. Will there be an incomplete incineration of the materials due of the mass of the object? What about contamination in the atmosphere? Will the components be destroyed completely, or will the chemical composition of the batteries be ionized and turn into toxins?

Then there is the simple "what if," of this package not being destroyed and the risk of it doing damage on the ground? When you said no piece of space junk has ever caused damage to or injury on the ground. This is incorrect. In an article from your own Space.com website, an article entitled : " Worst Space Debris Events of all Time: Growing Threat of Space Debris;" by Space.com Staff, March 08, 2013, cataloged the problem.

Only one person has ever been hit with space trash, as far as we know. Her name was Lottie Williams, and she lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 6-inch-long piece of a rocket hit her on the shoulder on January 22, 1997. So it has happened and the larger and more massive the object is, and as the frequency of space activity increases, the greater the risk will be for places and people on Earth. Also natural space objects; e.g., meteors, comets, asteroids, etc have hit Earth in its geological history. The Tunguska incident in Russia and space rock fell from the sky on September 18, 2015, smashing through the roof of the house, in San Carlos, Uruguay bouncing off a couch, and destroying a bed and TV, are two documented, very rare incidents in recent times.

The most logical and most likely inexpensive way of disposing of space debris, is to build a system into potentially dangerous objects, to place them into a trajectory to contact the Sun. As far as the impact of debris impacting the Sun, the heat would vaporize any object before it would ever reach the surface. Future activity in Space dictates the need for built-in, man made space object mitigation systems.
 
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Jan 4, 2020
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Unfortunately humans are just in the equivalent of the stone age of space technology development and most of the leaders in charge of the space-faring countries have their own mind in the stone age itself so I believe that any planetary body humans approach they'll become space junk dump in their surface as well as in their low orbit. This gives anexample of how dangerous humans are.
Totally agree with you. Most people are so selfish and ignorant about the consequences of their actions and in my opinion even if they were aware of how destructive and wasteful they really are they probably would still do it anyway but in their defence we are only a species of animal living with many other animals on this beautiful planet and yes we are intelligent but not as intellectually evolved as we like to think we are and hopefully by the time we have the technology to be able to go to saturn and the other planets we have evolved far enough intellectually to be able to deal with our waste products in an environmentally friendly way. Life is prevalent throughout the cosmos and there is nothing special about homo sapien sapiens whatsoever
 
Mar 5, 2021
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According to: https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/satellites/a32957207/foam-space-junk/

There's a couple of innovative ways to remove space junk. One idea from NASA is to use " solar sail-powered satellites to steer junk toward Earth's atmosphere. where it will burn up in our atmosphere.

The University of Surrey's RemoveDEBRIS satellite, for example, launched from the International Space Station and successfully netted a piece of space junk in April 2018.

Another is from Russia. The Foam Debris Catcher would be deployed in the aftermath of a collision. Once it reaches the debris cloud, the satellite would splay out a web of space-grade polymeric foam arms which, according to StartRocket, can capture as much as a ton of space junk. Once the satellite catches enough debris, orbital drag would pull it toward Earth's atmosphere, where it would burn. " Russia will start testing the technology in 2022.

Maybe, once the debris is captured, it can be sprayed with a bacteria that eats metal in order to dissolve it. Manganese oxide nodules, generated by the bacteria and discovered by the Caltech team. (CNN) Scientists, eats and gets its calories from metal.

There are disposal orbits that debris is already put into that can be utilized by the foam catcher and the spraying of bacteria.

We will still have to contend with the problem that was created on March 25th where the rocket coming back to earth didn't burn up in the atmosphere like it was suppose to.
 
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Dec 21, 2019
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Chelsey: Humans have had a garbage mentality since the Middle Ages, and this mentality; whether intentional or due to ignorance; has unintended consequences. As I said above, during the Middle Ages when large cities began to come into existence, people had no knowledge about diseases and how they were spread among the population. In London, people simply threw biological waste into the street. Some lazy individuals would simply open a window from an upper story and would hit people walking on the street below.

It is the reason sewers began to come into existence and our current sewage systems have evolved into how they protect us today. When I think about "Space Junk," I perceive it as non-functional satellites, no longer useful equipment such as the two thousand pound pallet of batteries just jettisoned from the "Space Station," or other debris in orbit no matter the size.

The tiny pieces of debris you mention is a fact future space travelers will have to accept as a risk. We have no way of cleaning this stuff up from orbit. There is no giant vacuum cleaner to suck this debris up and package it in a bag like we do in our homes. Beside that, how would you design a vacuum cleaner, to work inside of a vacuum, even if we wanted to build something to do this. We would have to go back to the concept of the old "Street Cleaner " from days gone a long time ago, for the most part.

If we put newly functioning satellites into orbit they have to fall within two categories.:

1. Things which will rely on having an orbit which will degrade and use the Earth's atmosphere to completely destroy it; or
2. A method of packaging the aborted stuff onto a "space garbage scow," to package up the waste and dispose of it properly.

The concept of relying the atmosphere as the primary method of burning up debris is fine, as long as the objects entering the atmosphere and small enough for friction to do the job. But I have serious concerns about large objects such as the two thousand pound bank of batteries being completely destroyed before it hit hits the ground.

My background is in the scientific field of Safety Management. In this field of Science, we deal with both known and unknown hazards, should the "what if" occur. In the case of a battery package as large as the one discarded by the Space Station; we have no way of knowing how the batteries and its components will react to re-entry. Will there be an incomplete incineration of the materials due of the mass of the object? What about contamination in the atmosphere? Will the components be destroyed completely, or will the chemical composition of the batteries be ionized and turn into toxins?

Then there is the simple "what if," of this package not being destroyed and the risk of it doing damage on the ground? When you said no piece of space junk has ever caused damage to or injury on the ground. This is incorrect. In an article from your own Space.com website, an article entitled : " Worst Space Debris Events of all Time: Growing Threat of Space Debris;" by Space.com Staff, March 08, 2013, cataloged the problem.

Only one person has ever been hit with space trash, as far as we know. Her name was Lottie Williams, and she lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A 6-inch-long piece of a rocket hit her on the shoulder on January 22, 1997. So it has happened and the larger and more massive the object is, and as the frequency of space activity increases, the greater the risk will be for places and people on Earth. Also natural space objects; e.g., meteors, comets, asteroids, etc have hit Earth in its geological history. The Tunguska incident in Russia and space rock fell from the sky on September 18, 2015, smashing through the roof of the house, in San Carlos, Uruguay bouncing off a couch, and destroying a bed and TV, are two documented, very rare incidents in recent times.

The most logical and most likely inexpensive way of disposing of space debris, is to build a system into potentially dangerous objects, to place them into a trajectory to contact the Sun. As far as the impact of debris impacting the Sun, the heat would vaporize any object before it would ever reach the surface. Future activity in Space dictates the need for built-in, man made space object mitigation systems.
There are over six billion people on planet earth. If two people are hurt out of two billion, is that an issue? Hundreds, thousands of people die every year from getting hit by a car, and you are worried about a few people possibly getting hurt from debris falling from space? As you pointed out, meteors falling from the sky, which we did not put there and are not the result of our "junk", cause more damage and harm than our debris. I have more concern you might step on a King Cobra and get bitten, than I do that someone might be hit by space junk. <<snip>> Try to be safe.
 
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Apr 17, 2020
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I think that the idea of having space junk burn into the atmosphere is the better one. It probably takes much lesser energy to fall into the earth than altering its orbit to go to the sun, it also however minute it is keeps the mass of the earth a constant.
 

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