Pros And Cons Of Tracking Space Junk

456 Words2 Pages
Methods Of Tracking Space Junk

What Is Space Junk?

Space junk, also called 'orbital debris ', could range from rocket stages, loose canisters, dust, paint flecks, nuts, bolts, pliers, screws, garbage bags, gloves, and metallic pieces to nonfunctional satellites, spacecrafts, and space stations that have crashed into each other. If this space junk stays in orbit it can cause more damage to other satellites, spacecrafts, and space stations by creating thousands of space debris pieces.

Risks of Space Junk

There are many risks of having space junk in orbit that causes major problems for astronauts and governments wanting to explore the cosmos further. For instance, in 2014 the International Space Station had to move at least three times to
…show more content…
NASA space debris tracking systems picked up at least 500,000 pieces between 1 and 10 cm and more than 21,000 pieces bigger than 10 centimeters. Moreover, there are about a hundred million pieces measuring under one centimeter that puts future missions at risk. The problem with ground based radar tracking systems is that they can only detect pieces that are over three centimeters, so it is hard for satellites, spacecrafts, and space station to dodge smaller pieces when they cannot see them. The Air Force Surveillance System routinely tracks 21,000 pieces as there are many high-risk collisions happening almost daily.

Surprisingly, there are websites for average people to track space debris in real time such as Stuff in Space and SATVIEW. The US Surveillance Space Network has a database that routinely catalog manmade space debris pieces you can downloa from the US Strategic Command Center website.

Tracking Space Debris in The Future

Tracking space junk is not a thing of the past or made for rocket scientists but average people can get in on the action. Space object tracking has revolutionize itself and will continue to increase with technological advancements. With debris tracking information, nations will become more responsible about what they send up in space because any mistakes or flaws can have unseen detrimental consequences years

More about Pros And Cons Of Tracking Space Junk

Open Document