An Indian Civilizational Perspective

China is the largest Space polluter

space-junk.jpgChina has just started its action in the space not very long ago, but it is already topping in rather ignominious ways. In the short time, the countries that sent rockets in space, they have already created a lot of pollution up there. What are these Space Debris?

the collection of objects in orbit around Earth that were created by humans but no longer serve any useful purpose. These objects consist of everything from spent rocket stages and defunct satellites to explosion and collision fragments. The debris can include slag and dust from solid rocket motors, surface degradation products such as paint flakes, coolant released by RORSAT nuclear powered satellites, clusters of small needles, and objects released due to the impact of micrometeoroids or fairly small debris onto spacecraft.

Chinese Space Program has really concentrated on space since the 1960s. However, most of that effort was on building missiles as opposed to the rockets and space ships. Now, as per a study by the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, China accounts for 40% of space debris.

It is followed by the United States, which produces 27.5%. Russia stands in the third position, with 25.5% of space debris. The credit for catapulting China to the top of the orbital garbage heap goes to the Chinese military, which deliberately destroyed a defunct weather satellite in 2007 to test a missile. The explosion created more than 2,800 pieces of free-flying shrapnel.

Space Debris like these can be a big collision risk for other space efforts. Currently 15,550 “dead” spacecraft, rocket stages, upper-stage rockets and their parts are in the orbits around the Earth. These are a significant collision risk although there is a debate on whether such debris have reached a “Critical density” around the planet or not?

If a collision with larger debris does occur, many of the resulting fragments from the damaged spacecraft will also be in the 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) mass range, and these objects become an additional collision risk. As the chance of collision is a function of the number of objects in space, there is a critical density where the creation of new debris occurs faster than the various natural forces that remove these objects from orbit. Beyond this point a runaway chain reaction can occur that quickly reduces all objects in orbit to debris in a period of years or months. This possibility is known as the “Kessler Syndrome”, and there is debate as to whether or not this critical density has already been reached in certain orbital bands.

Man has badly polluted the planet Earth, its air and the waters. Worse still, it has gone on to pollute the skies as well. One wonders how and when will we learn to live in harmony with the existence around us.

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