Scientists have been warning us about the problems posed by space junk for decades, but new rockets carrying new satellites are still being launched at an alarming rate,media reported. Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNN that space junk has begun to affect launch plans and planning for space agencies and start-ups, and that the continued delivery of new hardware into Earth orbit has caused a serious problem.
The types of garbage that orbit the earth vary greatly in size. From scrapped, burned satellites to rocket parts discarded on different missions, this space junk includes a variety of items.
Cracked satellites and other loose space junk eventually fall back to Earth and burn in atmospheric friction, but are not destroyed fast enough. New space junk is generated faster than old ones are destroyed. Many space agencies are considering ideas and plans for how to deal with the debris, including using net systems and even harpoons to capture larger pieces.
Another problem is that there is more space activity and satellites in Earth orbit than ever before. SpaceX, for example, has launched hundreds of its own microsatellites in the past few years, and the Starlink constellation has caused problems for astronomers observing the universe. The same problem exists in space groups trying to launch rockets because they need to avoid them.
The International Space Station (ISS) is the only permanent site in space that has been in existence for years, forced to avoid random space debris and collisions that could cause trouble for astronauts.
To be honest, Rocket Lab CEO Beck’s comments are a bit odd because he seems to be criticizing the space agency and even SpaceX’s decision to launch so many objects into space, and Rocket Lab itself is actually developing its own rocket, which will certainly be used to launch a batch of satellites into space in the future. So far, the company has launched 55 satellites.
In any case, the amount of space junk orbiting the Earth is a real problem, and there is no clear solution. It will be interesting to see which countries and companies will step up the development of new systems to clean up the area around the planet before it is almost impossible to put new things into orbit or further a step.