A recent report from the US National Research Council has highlighted an ever increasing problem – space debris. Ever since humans started sending things up into orbit there has been a problem with space junk, because not everything that goes up there comes back down. While larger objects will fall out of orbit and either return to Earth or burn up in the atmosphere, smaller fragments remain in orbit. While small, these fragments could do a significant amount of damage to satellites (or worse spacecraft) and there are also old satellites and spent booster rockets that remain in orbit which could cause even more damage. Some computer models are suggesting that the level of debris has reached a tipping point where there is so much debris that it will be constantly colliding – creating yet more debris. So what is the solution? Several ideas have been proposed including a giant magnet and an umbrella shaped device to sweep up debris. Whichever solution is decided upon, something needs to be done for the sake of those onboard the International Space Station, who increasingly have to dodge the space junk that shares their orbit.Discuss
Space is Rubbish!
Space is Rubbish! by Felicity Carlysle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.
As a neuroscience student, working with donated bodies has been a hugely beneficial part of my education because, when it comes to anatomy, diagrams just don’t cut it. The history of Scotland’s world-leading anatomists has been well documented, as have the dubious sources of their cadavers . In the 19th century, it was commonplace for … More
Are you panicking about exams? Are you starting to regret not studying earlier in the year? Have you even resorted to sleeping with a book under your pillow? Fear not! Here is some last minute advice, based on scientific literature of course, to help you make the most of the study period that you have … More
An exciting collaboration between scientists at Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory in New York and the University of Cambridge has revealed that breast cancer cells can mimic blood vessels. This ability allows the cancerous cells to create exit routes from the tumour, allowing it to spread throughout the body. They have pinpointed the molecular signals that … More