Millions of ‘space junk’ objects orbit Earth; The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will test a solution.
Because, you know ... humans are the polluting kind.
A sub-mission, dubbed "RemoveDebris," is included in the SpaceX Falcon 9 Dragon-14 mission, launched April 2 from Cape Canaveral, which has a number of research projects aboard.
RemoveDebris includes a main satellite, weighing 100 kg, and a pair of smaller “dummy” targets known as CubeSats, which can inflate like balloons to mimic the dimensions of an average object considered “space junk.”
How big is the space junk problem? Beginning in 1957, humans have accumulated at least 7,000 satellites and 5,000 rockets in low Earth orbit. Sometimes these objects collide with each other, as well, producing even more space debris as the things break apart. It’s massive: The European Space Agency estimates 166,000,000 debris objects polluting Earth’s orbit as of January, 2017. Wow.
Some of them are careening around low Earth orbit at over 17,000 mph. Even worse, an object the size of a sugar cube can cause significant damage when it collides with a new satellite attempting to reach orbit.
It’s not the first time the idea has been conceived; researchers in China are working on a “Space robotic cleaner” that will be designed to clean up space junk and use it as fuel.
The project is spearheaded by the Surrey Space Centre of the University of Surrey in SE U.K. and will begin testing near the end of May, 2018.
Who is to blame for the U.S.'s dismal college graduation rate? "Radical" educator Dennis Littky has a hunch.
- COVID-19 has magnified the challenges that underserved communities face with regard to higher education, such as widening social inequality and sky-high tuition.
- At College Unbound, where I am president, we get to know students individually to understand what motivates them, so they can build a curriculum based on goals they want to achieve.
- My teaching mantra: Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19. Everything is permitted during COVID-19.
Meteorologists propose a stunning new explanation for the mysterious events in the Bermuda Triangle.
One of life's great mysteries, the Bermuda Triangle might have finally found an explanation. This strange region, that lies in the North Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, has been the presumed cause of dozens and dozens of mind-boggling disappearances of ships and planes.
Did you know that shifting to a positive perspective on aging can add 7.5 years to your life? Or that there is a provable U-curve of happiness that shows people get happier after age 50?
Sweden tops the ranking for the third year in a row.
What does COVID-19 mean for the energy transition? While lockdowns have caused a temporary fall in CO2 emissions, the pandemic risks derailing recent progress in addressing the world's energy challenges.