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 part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2015’s Brainwaves mini-festival and the British Neuroscience Association’s Festival of Neuroscience, controversial former UK Government advisor Prof David Nutt of Imperial College London will discuss the ways he believes a radical policy rethink could transform the classification of drugs and alcohol and their impact on our society … More
If you ever wondered what happens at a scientific night out, this is your chance to find out. Edinburgh Science Festival presents Big Bang Bash, an out-of-this-world party and Full Spectrum, our first club night. In association with the National Museum of Scotland we give you a space-themed party Big Bang Bash - Friday, 10 April … More
A recent study, published in Genome Biology, claims to have found at least 145 ‘foreign’ genes in human DNA . In order to detect these ‘intruders’, a team of scientists scanned human DNA for segments with close resemblance to genes of non-animals (such as fungi or bacteria), but not genes found in other animals. Additionally, … More
The point in history when our African ancestors looked towards the horizon to begin their journey and search for new land is veiled in mystery. Our knowledge of these events are muddled with different, sometimes contrasting, evidence. Fresh geological findings, however, mean we might be one step closer to understanding the real path and date of the first big trek. More