So you think your town has a littering problem? Wait until you see what’s circling the earth every day.
According to NASA, there are more than 20,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. They travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft. There are 500,000 pieces of debris the size of a marble or larger. There are many millions of pieces of debris that are so small they can’t be tracked.
This documentary: The trouble with space junk by the BBC explains the dangers behind this orbiting waste and some of the potential solutions for it.
It’s scary how to think how many times I hear the question ‘why don’t we just send all the waste into space?’.
This documentary shows that even if we could overcome the astronomical costs (see what I did there?) of firing it into space then we would have to negotiate all the other pieces of waste already orbiting the planet first!
Not to mention that extracting raw materials from the earth, turning them into waste, using more of earths resources to fire the waste into space, where we could never get it back is a monumentally bad decision for the survival of the human race and all life on earth.