Garbage in Outer Space

Over the past few decades, humans have been spreading their garbage even into outer space. According to reports, between 9,000 and 15,000 pieces of debris can now be found orbiting the earth. The space garbage comes from satellites and various space missions undertaken by the United States, Russia, France, Japan, India, the European Space Agency, and China. The debris ranges in size from tiny specks to discarded parts of rockets weighing as much as 10 tons (9 metric tons). The orbiting trash eventually falls toward the earth, where it is burned up in the planet's atmosphere, but it can take a very long time for this to happen. In the meantime, the trash simply circles the planet, often colliding and breaking into smaller and smaller pieces. Scientists have warned that we are approaching a point at which the space junk could endanger future space programs. Although the danger is less for peopled spaceflights to the International Space Station, since most of the debris is located at higher altitudes, the junk can pose a risk to commercial and research flights that need to fly through the debris field. Currently, there is no economically viable method for cleaning up the debris.

companies, a new awareness about the need for greener, more sustainable living is slowly permeating the world's consciousness. These new attitudes about the connection between humans and the environment, along with new waste management technologies in the future, could lead the way to a more positive future for garbage management.

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