2021-01-13

Experts warn: there is too much “junk” around the earth, watch out for satellites being hit

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Experts warn: there is too much “junk” around the earth, watch out for satellites being hit

The latest scientific model analysis shows that there are 128 million space debris larger than 1 mm in diameter in the Earth’s orbit, and 34,000 space debris larger than 10 cm in diameter. It is reported that debris less than 1 cm in diameter may completely destroy orbiting satellites because they move too fast. Artificial satellites are commonly used for communications, such as satellite television and telephone, and navigation systems including global positioning systems. Such spacecraft also play an important role in weather forecasting, storm tracking, environmental pollution, and astronomical exploration.

Katrini said: “Since January 2019, there have been more than 5,000 satellites in space, and nearly 2,000 of them are still in use. We pray every day when their service life ends, These satellites can be de-orbited normally and most of them burned in the atmosphere.” However, she also warned that there are still nearly 3,000 low-activity satellites floating in space. The latest statistics show that more than 500 satellites have been broken or damaged, causing a lot of debris in space.

In recent years, with the gradual expansion of artificial satellite space networks, it is likely to form a “Kessler phenomenon” in space. This is a chain reaction. More and more objects collide to form new Space junk makes the earth’s orbit unable to operate normally.

Katrini said: “This sounds like an imminent disaster!” said Rolf Densing, Director of Operations at the European Space Agency. We live on a huge satellite. In the era of network construction, the number of spacecraft around the Earth’s orbit has increased by an average of thousands every year. So far, there are about 1,000 Starlink satellites in the Earth’s orbit, but it is expected that in 10 years, there will be tens of thousands of satellites in the Earth’s orbit. Rolf said that the European Space Agency’s European Space Operations Center (ESOC) is experiencing hundreds of debris collisions from about 20 satellites operated by the agency, and we must perform collision avoidance operations approximately every two weeks.

Caterini said that in order to ensure the long-term sustainable use of space, we must limit the generation of space debris, avoid the formation of new space debris, and actively develop and design tools to remove current space debris. Even under the premise that no more objects enter the space environment, the simulation results from the European Space Agency and NASA show that mitigation measures alone are not enough to bring the low-Earth orbit debris below the critical density. We must propose Safety response mechanism, otherwise the consequences would be disastrous. (Camera)