Development in science and technologies around the world since the last 8-9 decades over even more than that, humans interference and involvement in and with nature and atmosphere has been seen quite frequently. Be it cutting of trees through machines for making buildings, or destroying mountains, or through emissions by factories and industries in any direction one can pick, has led to an increase in pollution. All these activities through the collaboration of technology has made life of each and every individual residing in this planet more easier and comfortable along with every commodity and facility possible. Moreover we humans have succeed even to space with these technologies, and this have increased our horizon of research based on space, different cosmos and our reach to them. Over a successful attempt to land on the moon in the late 60’s ,proved that man can reach places with the utilization of his mind and putting it in the right direction and thus navigating it to achieve unknown possibilities.
Human intervention in space and it’s activity has helped humans in a number of ways,and this opened the door to much more fields of action. Be it satellites for communications, or weather forecast or for defence or be it analysis of any space phenomenon happening at some light years or even knowing how our earth looks from the outside, this space exploration has helped mankind in countless ways and will be doing in many ways in near future. But all these activities and common trips to space has led us to face another problem which sooner and even now is affecting much of our activities being conducted in space and may be harming our future expeditions . Space debris, a common word to hear these days, with many of these falling back on earth while a number of thousands and lakhs still present in our orbit and above.
Space debris could be defined as the junk which is no longer of any use. These could anything which ones got to space performs its function, became dysfunctional but never came back. This could be remains of satellites or the particles of rockets which got destroyed in space after it’s work was no longer operational. These space debris have been a part of space as long as we have started our journey and more often trips to space. These have been significantly growing with times with limited actions in the attempt to reduce these. These space debris can be as big as a satellite itself and as small as a screw and even a smaller particle or object than it.
There have been many instances when we humans have left things in space which later with time became a debris. Many human efforts other than this could be testing of anti satellite missile as tested by many countries like USA, China and even India. This surely has left a large amount of debris in space. As per the reports and sources, most of the damage in these spacecraft when they came back and tested were acknowledged to be from paint chips, other from steel and other damages by parts of other metals which have been left as a waste in the space after the explosion of rockets. The consent of a space debris was not so common in the starting years, but as through our common intervention in space, the problem of space debris significantly saw a hike from 1% to 17% in a year which exceeded to 25% and at present it is 50% . Which is not a good figure for any company to be operational in space activity. .
There have been many instances in space when these space debris hit the space station, and the crew had to repair it as soon as possible so as to reduce the dysfunctionality of the whole station and loss of any life. So for this more often they use shield-like structure which protects them from debris hitting whenever they get a warning from the headquarters of any debris prevailing in the nearby radius of the station. This sheet is known as Whipple shield, which divides the coming particle or debris to break into smaller pieces after the collision, so it protects the direct contact and greater damage to the ship.
But the major issue is that every year a large budget is required to make the material of these ships stronger and impact resistance to bear any kind of damage due to debris, and a lot of investment is done in this sector. But unfortunately, we humans are still not able to notice much of the debris, and thus still damage the station and our satellites and we have to invest more in reconstructing them or repairing them by sending support from the ISS or from the ground, which thus proves to be quite costlier.
But as per the experts, if we still not do anything, then a cluster of space debris would surround us and thus would trap us from moving out of this planet if we still not take a step in reducing this. There have been many efforts by space companies and especially by SpaceX as they are using reusable rockets which do not explode or remain after their objective is completed rather come back and thus can be used again, thus saving cost of making it again and reducing a greater amount of space debris. Particular ways out have still not been found to catch these debris as they travel at high speeds. But scientists are coming with the technology which could reduce the speed of these objects and fall down back to earth after leaving their orbits. One of such technology is a High power laser which would be providing the opposite force to the object and thus slow it down. The other thing is to trap these down, but it requires a huge investment. But the bigger problem is if these space debris fall with or even with notice, these can be a harm to the people on the earth . So a proper planning and working would be done in accordance to attempt these.
There are many companies which are utilizing this space junk to make business. Company name Werenbach are using these space junk to manufacture watches. So the utilization of these materials could help save a lot of material to be wasted and also save cost in making it.
“We humans have polluted our space, and we are still continuing to do it. Strict rules and policies must be signed and worked on by every country in should perform this action of cleaning space debris in unity as this space belongs to every person and thus come up with ideas to sort this problem and thus clean out the junk before it’s late to take action”.