Space Pollution

Satellites and Debris in Low Earth Orbit, 1960-2010
Satellites and Debris in Low Earth Orbit, 1960-2010

Earlier this week, Pope Francis complained that “The earth, our home, is beginning to look more and more like an immense pile of filth.” Even seen from outer space, that is certainly true. In just half a century, humans have put 6,600 artificial satellites into orbit, of which 3,600 remain in orbit and just 1,000 remain operational. Old satellites have broken down from disintegration, erosion and collisions, leaving hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of debris cluttering around the Earth. Even if no new satellites are launched, there is a chance that colliding satellites will create even more more space debris in a runaway chain reaction.

Source: http://swfound.org/space-sustainability-101/

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