Although it no longer makes headlines nor the six o’clock news, about twice a month somebody launches something into space.
NASA’s current agenda alone calls for domestic communications satellites, weather satellites, new military communications and surveillance satellites, a satellite to test the magnetosphere, one to study propulsion principles, experimental TV broadcast satellites, ocean surface monitoring satellites, one to measure the shape of the earth, some to study atmospheric radiation, and at least one satellite to study satellites. And this is only for the U.S.
So what’s the problem? The problem, very simply, is that, as Newton found, what goes up must come down. That issue has never been publicly raised until 1978 with the Skylab discussion.
The objects that we, and others, continue to shoot into space are slowly sinking to earth, as NASA officials have known. The smaller ones do disintegrate as they fall through the earth’s atmosphere, but the larger ones do not.
As of 1978, there were 4,600 objects up there. Chicken Little might have been right but the media weren’t telling us about it.
The failure of the mass media to inform the public of the dangers of space “fall-out” qualified this story as the 22nd censored story of 1978. The source was Co-Evolutionary Quarterly, Summer 1978.
REPORTED IN 2011: SPACE JUNK SAFELY PASSES SPACE STATION
The Associated Press reported on April 6, 2011, that “After monitoring a small piece of space junk for 11 hours, NASA determined it posed no danger to the International Space Station and its three residents. …
“… Debris is an increasingly serious problem in orbit, because of colliding and destroyed spacecraft. At 5 miles a second, damage can be severe, even from something several inches big. Decompression, in fact, is at the top of any spacefarers danger list,
“More than 12,500 pieces of debris are orbiting Earth — and those are the ones big enough to track.”
are condemned to repeat it!