, pub-5475981771945671, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The Problem of Space Debris is Becoming Dangerous

The Problem of Space Debris is Becoming Dangerous

California, Saturday, Nov 27, 2021: On Monday, Nov 15, Russia carried out a weapons test in space, shooting down one of its Soviet-era satellites. As a result, more than 1,500 pieces of trackable debris were launched into space.

This forced astronauts on the International Space Station to take refuge for about two hours in two spacecraft that could return them to Earth if a collision occurred, says VOX.

The Russian government conducted an antisatellite test (ASAT), which is intended to destroy satellites in orbit, as the name implies.

The missile, which was launched from a site a few hundred miles north of Moscow, hit a non-operational Russian spy satellite called Kosmos-1408, which had been orbiting the Earth since 1982.

The satellite has now been shattered into thousands of pieces, which are currently whizzing around the Earth at approximately 17,000 miles per hour, passing the International Space Station every 90 minutes. While astronauts are no longer required to take cover, the threat to the ISS or other satellites remains.

While the ISS appears to be safe for the time being, experts warn that the situation is still dangerous. Satellite operators will most likely have to navigate this new cloud of space junk for several years, if not decades.

The missile test may have increased the total amount of space junk in Earth’s orbit by as much as 10%, including discarded pieces of rockets and satellites.

The question is, with the increased number of satellites launches and more space ships going up and down from planet earth, will there be a situation when these shards will collide or simply dash to earth?

Nevertheless, these shards are spinning at such high speeds that they risk colliding with active satellites that power critical technologies such as GPS navigation and weather forecasting.

This type of space debris is so dangerous that national security officials are concerned it could be used as a weapon in a future space war.

In fact, the State Department has already stated that Russia is more than willing to create debris that jeopardises the safety of all countries operating in low-Earth orbit and even threatens to disrupt space peace.

These dangers have only heightened fears that we are still a long way from resolving the space junk problem, especially as private companies and foreign governments launch thousands of new satellites into orbit, inevitably creating even more space junk.