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Space Junk Problem Spiralling Out of Control

Space Junk Problem Spiralling Out of Control

(Photo : Reuters) Space debris could potentially damage satellites and wipe out global communications and navigation systems.
(Photo : Reuters) Space debris could potentially damage satellites and wipe out global communications and navigation systems.

As early as 2011, the National Research Council (NRC) warned NASA that the amount of space debris orbiting the Earth was at critical levels.

Could the same scene from the Hollywood film Gravity (2013) turn into reality? In Gravity, a space mission turns deadly when space debris smashes into a space shuttle and space stations. In the same way, the urgent problem of floating space junk can no longer be ignored.

Space debris endangers spacecraft and satellites that could be struck by high-speed space debris. There are more than 19,000 trackable bits of space debris, mainly old satellites, spent rocket stages and fragments.

William Schonberg, professor of aerospace engineeringat the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a member of the NRC committee that filed the report in 2011, warns that the movie scenario can come true.

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January 19, 2015


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