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Kessler Exaggerating?

02/16/2021 1:00 PM

A group of scientists have compiled a list of space debris in Earth's orbit. Today there are about 25 thousand objects. Experts have reduced this list to 50 of the most dangerous, which must be eliminated first.

Huge deposits of space debris can create problems for earthlings - especially when large objects collide, which can cause an "avalanche". As a result, the Internet can be disrupted on Earth. Also, under certain circumstances, debris can become a threat to navigation, climatic, geographic and other satellite systems.

The point is to "tow" them to safe orbits using special equipment. Almost all of these heavy objects are old missile bodies. From the list of dangerous 37 have a weight of more than two tons.

Scientists note that it is necessary to start a global cleaning in space now. Moreover, equipment and technologies are actively developing in this direction.

Are they exaggerating the problem?

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#1

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/16/2021 1:31 PM

I believe this is a real problem but not for terrestrial impact reasons and likely not worth mitigating.

Certainly the larger masses can better survive reentry to make an earth impact. Those same larger masses will be less effected by drag with the thin upper atmosphere so they will remain in their orbits for a long time. They should still be tracked in the meantime.

The risk I see are from the vast cloud of numerous debris that can impact other, working satellites, particularly the low orbit satellites. A lot of money and resources go into placing these satellites into orbit. The premature loss from debris impact has happened and will likely happen again. At this time, a program to try and mitigate these rare events will likely plant more debris in orbit than it will remove. This is not worth the effort.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/16/2021 2:58 PM

It was also announced that about 57,000 new satellites should be launched into orbit by 2029. On the one hand, I agree with you that most modern solutions to this problem will only lead to an increase in the amount of debris. On the other hand, some projects have been quite promising. Even the project called a space vacuum cleaner. It was about 10 years ago, but nothing happened.

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/16/2021 3:06 PM

I forgot to add that satellite and launch device (rocket) manufacturers agree that this could become a significant problem in the future. Thus all new systems are designed for self-disposal, typically by atmospheric reentry burn-up.

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#4

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/16/2021 5:45 PM

Well I think we should certainly be trialing some methods...we need to find the best and cheapest way to go about this...why wait for a catastrophe before taking action...

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#5

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/16/2021 8:05 PM

The danger to people on the ground is practically nonexistent. Only a few people have been injured and no one killed by space debris in history.

"Every day a tonne or two of defunct satellites, rocket parts and other man-made orbiting junk hurtles into the atmosphere. Four-fifths of it burns up to become harmless dust, but that still leaves a fair number of fragments large enough to be lethal. It is testament to how much of Earth’s surface is sea, and how sparsely populated the remainder remains, that the only recorded victims of this artificial hailstorm are five sailors aboard a Japanese vessel, who were injured in 1969, and a woman in Oklahoma who was grazed by a piece of falling rocket in 1997."

https://www.economist.com/science-and-technology/2019/08/10/no-one-has-yet-been-killed-by-re-entering-space-junk

So even if the situation got much worse, the chance of getting struck by lightning would probably be higher.

However, in the event of a Kessler event, an astronaut in the ISS would probably be in much more danger, being exposed to fragments of all sizes traveling at hypersonic velocities, with no atmosphere to act as a shield.

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#6
In reply to #5

Re: Kessler? exaggerating?

02/17/2021 12:33 PM

The ISS has been damaged several times. For example, in 2016, ESA experts explained that it was most likely a peeled paint fragment or a small metal fragment “no more than a few thousandths of a millimetre” in size in the window.

The ISS is orbiting at 7.66 km/s (27,600 km/h), so any debris flying in a different orbit could cause damage. The station's windows, 80 cm in diameter and 10 cm thick, are made of laminated quartz and borosilicate glass, so collisions with such small fragments do not pose any threat. But fragments up to 1 cm in diameter can already cause "critical damage", and any fragment with a diameter of more than 10 cm can "smash a satellite or spacecraft to pieces."

I think the people on the ISS deserve that people on Earth take care of their safety.

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#7

Re: Kessler Exaggerating?

02/18/2021 7:02 AM

Could small space tugs be a partial solution to this problem?

And how could this work? The wreckage is flying at fairly significant speeds.

Until now, it was possible to cope with this problem by regulating the orbits of objects and observing them, but every year it becomes clearer that sooner or later the orbit will have to be cleaned "manually" - by launching special satellites.

StartRocket proposes to use simple unguided satellites weighing up to 100 kg as space scavengers.

Flying past a space debris object along a pre-calculated trajectory, the trap device must hook it with its sticky "net". This idea seems completely ridiculous to me.

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#8

Re: Kessler Exaggerating?

02/19/2021 6:15 AM

Space tugs such as the Skyrora space tug and the like. These devices are designed to correct the orbits of satellites, service them, and remove them from orbit. But as far as I understand it will only work with whole small satellites.

Will such a device work when scaling?

It is still a preventive measure.

I still haven't seen anything that could collect small debris that could actually harm what is in orbit.

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#9

Re: Kessler Exaggerating?

02/19/2021 7:37 AM

Have they found Wan Hu's rocket yet?

https://mysticsciences.com/2016/09/29/475/

Is this what the Chinese are looking for on the far side of the moon?

The green substance found in the crater may have been Wasabi paste.

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#10

Re: Kessler Exaggerating?

03/31/2021 5:02 AM

No, I don't think they're exaggerating the problem. Kessler syndrome is real and poses a great threat to other objects in space. If you remember, the ISS had already suffered from the collision with a piece of space debris. Do you happen to know what aerospace companies decided to solve this problem and started manufacturing a spacecraft to clean up space?

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#11

Re: Kessler Exaggerating?

03/31/2021 7:05 PM

It will become a more common problem. It is going to get much more crowded than it is. If we could ionize the debris, possibly with a laser(maybe even from the surface), or by other means, maybe the earth's magnetic field might bring them down. Or, bumping them down with a generated electric pulse from a salvage craft. Governments will never pay for this, maybe a bounty/salvage system funded with military and industry coffers. Make the earth-moon area a national park......take your litter with you. We need a clean parking area for visitors.

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