Now China is not fully involved. They don’t care at all about space waste (and where it has ended up several times in recent years). But NASA, ESA, ROSCOMOS, JAXA, and IN-space have long generally had a “back-cleaning” protocol in their launches.

The western companies that shoot something into space are also obliged to leave everything tidy.

The problem of space pollution is not so much that bit of junk we leave behind. But the rubbish that flies around as a result of exploding batteries, collisions or the blowing up of satellites.

~2 satellites a year are now broken due to miniscule flying space debris. The problem is going to come once we have so many satellites flying around that the collisions can suddenly increase exponentially and lock us up for hundreds or even thousands of years as we watch a ring form around our planet.

We are creeping towards that possible point of no return fairly quickly now that the number of satellites is going to increase enormously in the next ~10 years. Starlink will already contain more satellites (42,000) than we as humanity have shot into the sky so far (9,800).

It will not surprise me personally if in 10-30 years time it turns out that we as humanity have gone too far once again and find out that we are shooting ourselves in the common foot in the long term. We humans are pretty good at that. That next to nature, oceans, rivers, land, forest, atmosphere, ozone layer….etc.etc.etc. also clean up the room.

[Reactie gewijzigd door batjes op 14 september 2021 10:11]

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