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Space Junk

Environment | 6-12 yrs | Reading Pod

What is space Junk?

Currently, a thick band of levitating space junk —composed primarily of broken satellite pieces and discarded rocket boosters—skirts the Earth. Two or three times a day, a satellite circling our planet narrowly misses a torrent of the orbital debris. This phenomenon has jeopardized not only current space travelers, but future missions as well.

Can we limit our waste disposal in space?

Faced with this scenario, as early as the 1980s NASA and other groups within the U.S. attempted to limit the growth of debris. One particularly effective solution was implemented by McDonnell Douglas on the Delta booster, by having the booster move away from their payload and then venting any remaining fuel in the tanks. This eliminated the pressure build-up in the tanks that had caused them to explode in the past. Other countries, however, were not as quick to adopt this sort of measure, and the problem continued to grow throughout the 1980s, especially due to a large number of launches in the Soviet Union.

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