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Space Junk

Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/10/2009 4:46:49 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
http://www.newsweek.com...

So, I think most people are aware of the growing cloud of debris that surrounds our planet, commonly called "space junk." This is the result of leftover booster rockets from the various vehicle launches, dead satellites and even wrenches that escaped the grasp of our astronauts.

There have been ideas to deal with the junk, ranging from using the Airborne Laser missile defense system to deal with low-orbit debris, to creating a launched vehicle that can sidle along, capture and store debris.

There is many ideas, but I was wondering what others on this website thought about the problem that space junk poses, and the way to deal with it?
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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8/10/2009 5:19:12 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I think we just aught to make sure that it falls back to Earth, given that we only have so much matter and we can't lose too much to space.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/10/2009 5:20:51 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/10/2009 5:19:12 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think we just aught to make sure that it falls back to Earth, given that we only have so much matter and we can't lose too much to space.

How would we go about that though? Wouldn't that create a dangerous situation as well, at least in relation to satellites with hazardous chemicals on board, similar to that satellite that had to be shot down a while ago by the US?
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/10/2009 6:34:56 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
The anime Planetes is about space junk collectors. I think it has a great presentation in making floating pieces of steel kind of a big deal - just watch the first minute of the video I've posted :P

Personally, I have no idea what's the best way to get rid of the debris out there. But we should probably start with not adding any more to the situation.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
I-am-a-panda
Posts: 15,380
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8/11/2009 4:00:42 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
We should build big containers on the moon and put it their. Then make moon scrap scavengers.
Pizza. I have enormous respect for Pizza.
Kleptin
Posts: 5,095
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8/11/2009 6:02:58 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
The problem is that getting the stuff to the moon would be more complicated than picking it up and bringing it back to earth safely.

We really should conserve resources, losing them in space is the ultimate loss.
: At 5/2/2010 2:43:54 PM, innomen wrote:
It isn't about finding a theory, philosophy or doctrine and thinking it's the answer, but a practical application of one's experiences that is the answer.

: At 10/28/2010 2:40:07 PM, jharry wrote: I have already been given the greatest Gift that anyone could ever hope for [Life], I would consider myself selfish if I expected anything more.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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8/11/2009 6:48:53 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 4:00:42 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
We should build big containers on the moon and put it their. Then make moon scrap scavengers.

The Clangers!
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Cerebral_Narcissist
Posts: 10,806
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8/11/2009 6:54:58 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 6:48:53 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
At 8/11/2009 4:00:42 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
We should build big containers on the moon and put it their. Then make moon scrap scavengers.

The Clangers!



Either that or we establish a colony of wombles?

Hurrah for the British Space Empire!
I am voting for Innomen because of his intelligence, common sense, humility and the fact that Juggle appears to listen to him. Any other Presidential style would have a large sub-section of the site up in arms. If I was President I would destroy the site though elitism, others would let it run riot. Innomen represents a middle way that works, neither draconian nor anarchic and that is the only way things can work. Plus he does it all without ego trips.
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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8/11/2009 7:17:55 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 6:54:58 AM, Cerebral_Narcissist wrote:
At 8/11/2009 6:48:53 AM, brian_eggleston wrote:
At 8/11/2009 4:00:42 AM, I-am-a-panda wrote:
We should build big containers on the moon and put it their. Then make moon scrap scavengers.

The Clangers!



Either that or we establish a colony of wombles?

Hurrah for the British Space Empire!

Yeah! All we need to do is breed some Wombles with some Clangers and all our space junk problems are solved!
Visit the burglars' bulletin board: http://www.break-in-news.com...
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/11/2009 2:01:46 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/10/2009 5:19:12 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think we just aught to make sure that it falls back to Earth, given that we only have so much matter and we can't lose too much to space.

Actually, the earth gains mass everyday. I wouldn't be worried about it loosing an insiginificant number of mass to space.

Something should definitely be done; I say vaporize it from earth or satellite based lasers. (preferably mounted on shark heads!)
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/11/2009 2:18:32 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 2:01:46 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Actually, the earth gains mass everyday. I wouldn't be worried about it loosing an insiginificant number of mass to space.

Wait, what?
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
wjmelements
Posts: 8,206
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8/11/2009 2:19:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 2:18:32 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
At 8/11/2009 2:01:46 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Actually, the earth gains mass everyday. I wouldn't be worried about it loosing an insiginificant number of mass to space.

Wait, what?

Meteorites. I forgto about that.
tBoone is right.
in the blink of an eye you finally see the light
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/11/2009 2:24:29 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 2:18:32 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
At 8/11/2009 2:01:46 PM, tBoonePickens wrote:
Actually, the earth gains mass everyday. I wouldn't be worried about it loosing an insiginificant number of mass to space.

Wait, what?

http://answers.google.com...

That was the best link I could find on the subject without combing Google that much.

The Earth gains mass from solar winds, meteorites, gases, etc. It certainly isn't a tremendous amount, and it is slightly offset by loss of some elements, but the Earth most likely gains mass.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/11/2009 2:27:45 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Space debris, dust, meteorites, etc.

"Compared to the mass of the Earth, mass gain by debris from space is
negligible, even over extremely long periods of time. If the mass of Earth is 5.97 X 10^24 kg (Pasachoff and Filipenko), and the mass gained by Earth from space debris is between 10^6 and 10^8 kg (Morbidelli et al. 1994; Farley, 2002), then Earth gains 10^6/(5.977X10^24) = 1.67 X 10^(-16) % each year. Waaaaay too little to matter."

( http://www.madsci.org... )
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/11/2009 2:35:02 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
I am pretty sure our rate of launching things into space is decreasing earth's mass faster than meteorites and space dust are adding to it.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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8/11/2009 2:37:19 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 2:35:02 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
I am pretty sure our rate of launching things into space is decreasing earth's mass faster than meteorites and space dust are adding to it.

Maybe, and maybe not. The difference is that whatever scraps are out there that we've sent up don't measure up to a huge amount, regardless of the frequency.
Rezzealaux
Posts: 2,251
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8/11/2009 2:44:17 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
Nevermind, I just read both of the links.

That's a lot of mass.

Now back on topic with space junk.
: If you weren't new here, you'd know not to feed me such attention. This is like an orgasm in my brain right now. *hehe, my name is in a title, hehe* (http://www.debate.org...)

Just in case I get into some BS with FREEDO again about how he's NOT a narcissist.

"The law is there to destroy evil under the constitutional government."
So... what's there to destroy evil inside of and above the constitutional government?
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/11/2009 2:56:59 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/11/2009 2:35:02 PM, Rezzealaux wrote:
I am pretty sure our rate of launching things into space is decreasing earth's mass faster than meteorites and space dust are adding to it.

What are you saying, that we are putting up over 100,000,000 kg into space a year? That's 100,000 metric tons a year! Even if you take the low number of 1,000,000 kg (1,000 metric tons) I honestly don't think so. The space shuttle can carry a max of 29 metric tons into low earth orbit; that would mean over about 35 missions a year EVERY year, or (3400 shuttle missions a year if you take the large number.) Sorry bub. There's no way were're putting up more than is coming in.

Regardless, the amount (or any amount we could put up) would be an insignificant change to the mass of the earth.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
MTGandP
Posts: 702
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8/16/2009 10:43:13 PM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/10/2009 5:19:12 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think we just aught to make sure that it falls back to Earth, given that we only have so much matter and we can't lose too much to space.

The problem here isn't that the materials are lost. The actual amount of material lost is minute in comparison to the planet. The problem is because a piece of junk, even a very small piece of junk, will tear a hole straight through a space ship. So they have to keep track of this junk to make sure they don't get hit by it.

And there's zero chance that it won't fall back to earth. It's just a matter of time. It will probably take hundreds or thousands of years, though.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/17/2009 9:55:54 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
At 8/16/2009 10:43:13 PM, MTGandP wrote:
At 8/10/2009 5:19:12 PM, wjmelements wrote:
I think we just aught to make sure that it falls back to Earth, given that we only have so much matter and we can't lose too much to space.

The problem here isn't that the materials are lost. The actual amount of material lost is minute in comparison to the planet. The problem is because a piece of junk, even a very small piece of junk, will tear a hole straight through a space ship. So they have to keep track of this junk to make sure they don't get hit by it.

And there's zero chance that it won't fall back to earth. It's just a matter of time. It will probably take hundreds or thousands of years, though.

Agree 100%.
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.
Rob1Billion
Posts: 1,338
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8/21/2009 6:49:27 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
I think you guys are exaggerating this problem. Even if we were losing mass at a much greater rate than the rate we are actually gaining it, there would be no reason for concern about losing mass to satellites. The amount of mass lost to us putting it out to space would be many, many orders of magnitude less than the amount of mass the ocean loses to fishing. As far as pollution of space is concerned, I don't think you guys actually realize the proportions you are dealing with (similar to the mass argument). Dead satellites, wrenches, debris... This stuff, compared to the vastness of the area surrounding our planet, would be like dumping a five-gallon bucket full of metal objects into lake Eerie and then worrying about it tearing a hole in your boat when you go out on the lake (assuming touching one of the metal objects could damage your boat and they could float of course). In the distant future it is possible that we could pollute the upper atmosphere if we see inconceivably high increases in our activities in space, if say billions of people were able to get out there and use space to travel around the planet (we could never conceivably pollute space in our wildest dreams even if we smashed the entire Earth into rubble and spread it throughout the solar system) but we just aren't doing enough out there right now to make a difference. It would take a HUGE increase in the activity in orbit to make any sort of impact. Honestly, I seriously doubt we have the ability at this point to pollute the upper atmosphere if we tried our hardest to do so. It takes a LOT of energy to accelerate even a small amount of matter into orbit. Another analogy similar to this discussion would be worrying that diamond production is so steady that we will have to do something about rogue diamonds building up everywhere and making efforts to get rid of them. I wouldn't be surprised if the diamond argument has much more mathematical merit, actually...
Master P is the end result of capitalism.
tBoonePickens
Posts: 3,266
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8/21/2009 8:00:55 AM
Posted: 7 years ago
Rob1Billion,
You missed the boat!

(1) It was agreed that the "mass-loss" issue was negligible and not the main issue.

(2) As far as polluting space goes: I think you're missing the point here, and that point is space junk. It's not that anyone's worried that we'll somehow fill up space with junk, it's that the amount of space junk that's in orbit is extremely dangerous to all space missions, satellite, space station, etc. This stuff in orbit is floating around at high speeds and act like bullets (or worse) when they collide with space craft (or astronauts.)

(3) What does "the amount of mass the ocean loses to fishing" have anything to do with this topic or is even an analog to it?
WOS
: At 10/3/2012 4:28:52 AM, Wallstreetatheist wrote:
: Without nothing existing, you couldn't have something.