Now imagine that building being much much taller than the empire state building or more fittingly Burj Khalifa stacked on top of itself one after the other. Basically, imagine you’re standing on a space craft looking down at earth penny in hand ready to drop it back down and hopefully not hit someone on the head in the process.
That is space junk.
And as much knowledge you have about dropping that penny, by releasing it between your fingers; we have about throwing a bunch of trash out into the international commons. It wasn’t done on accident, its not something that we didn’t mean to do. We’re basically constructing our own special ring like Saturn. Constructed of things that either burn up in the atmosphere or come crashing down trying to get home.
Except, unlike the highly identifiable penny, ours is made out of anything from enormous structures to tiny bolts and screws. Each and every piece equally as dangerous. The biggest threat isn’t the fact that we have no idea how much of this stuff is reentering our atmosphere every year its the fact that we have no idea/ no drive to clean this up.
Employing a trash man to come up and down to pick up waste is an interesting image however every time we go up there we leave a little piece of us for memory sake up there as well. And no one wants to spend trillions of dollars on a trash man for the international community. If its not in our backyard how often do we actually care?
So for actually taking care of this problem its more of waiting to see if it will take care of itself, hopefully maybe burning up before impact. (Which is highly unlikely for most of the debris)
Not only is this debris plummeting back down to earth its also messing with our atmosphere as it reenters, not at a significant amount (we do that down here enough). But its still producing low levels of nitric acid upon reentry, known to cause ozone depletion. Not only that but as it continues to fall and thus undergo heating most of the junk produces harmful chemicals. But this problem is hardly taken notice of, for the point of reentry is much much higher than where any planes fly. Therefore its out of sight and out of mind as are most things.
But why should we care, as long as we’re not getting hit on the head with the penny whats the big deal.
Small depletion of the ozone, big deal.
Harder to travel to space in the future, not the presents problem.
The biggest issue that the international community should have with this debris floating above our heads that it is directly indisputably our fault. And whomever caused it, must be responsible for fixing it. As well as littering is such a taboo down on the ground, isn’t it hypocritical that when it comes to the air we don’t care at all. We need to protect our commons, because its not just our. And no other specie has endangered the other planets inhabitants chances for survival as much as human beings.
We need to stop acting like children and pick up our toys.