In Neal Stephenson’s 2015 novel Seveneves, he imagines that the Earth’s moon breaking into seven pieces. This being a work of science fiction, the event of course has dire consequences for everyone on the planet. But if the idea of a cloud of space debris left over from the shattering of the Moon seems fanciful, … Continue reading The Kessler syndrome
Space is big. Really big. And there’s not much up there – except all the trash. And that’s suddenly become a valuable resource, as recycling space junk could put an end to the days of fire-and-forget satellite launches. Thanks to South Australian space-industry start-up Neumann Space, every piece of scrap metal in orbit above us … Continue reading Mountains of space junk could carry us to Mars
Space can be an unforgiving environment, even for a spacecraft. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has just reported that a small hole has appeared in a robotic arm it operates aboard the International Space Station (ISS) – driving home the risks of space junk. The 5-mm-diameter hole was noticed during a routine inspection of the … Continue reading ISS struck by space junk
A large, uncontrolled piece of rocket debris hurtled towards Earth over the weekend – more than 20 tonnes travelling at about 27,000 km/h. Understandably, some were a little nervous about the damage bits of China’s biggest rocket – the Long March 5B – might cause. Ultimately most of the debris burned up in the atmosphere, … Continue reading Rocket debris draws international criticism
A network of mobile observatories deployed across Australia’s vast expanse could be a new weapon in the battle against dangerous space debris. The Southern Cross Outreach Observatory Project (SCOOP) already takes a mobile observatory – towed by an SUV – into communities to teach people about astronomy. Project founder Muhammad Akbar Hussain presented the idea … Continue reading Space debris? SCOOP it up!
Mars is space flavour of the month, with three spacecraft on their way and suggestions of a possible icy past, but there is other news of note. Here are some projects that took our fancy. A stirred-up planet factory Astrophysicists say planet-forming environments can be more complex and chaotic than previously thought if a new … Continue reading SpaceWatch: spiral arms and space junk
It’s about the environment as well as safety. Richard A. Lovett reports.
Australian researchers take aim at hundreds of thousands of bits of debris orbiting the Earth. Alan Duffy reports.
More and more debris is cluttering space, threatening our satellites and rockets. Can we clean up Earth’s orbit before it’s too late?