Rockets and Satellites exemplar

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Last updated 8 years ago

Planets & Astronomy

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Rockets and Satellites exemplar

Scientists are becoming more and more concerned with the large number of objects circling the Earth. This "space junk" includes dead satellites, tools, spatulas, nuts and bolts, and a golf ball.Most of the pieces are very small, about the size of a tennis ball, but everything together weighs about 11 million pounds.The US Space Surveillance Network keeps a catalog of all the junk flying around if it is larger than a baseball. If a collision between debris and occupied or operational equipment in space is possible, the network sends a warning to the country or company that operates the satellite.This problem has no end in sight. "Even if we stop launching...the environment will...get worse for a century.

Debris is never really Lost in Space

The problem of what to do with debris left in space began with the launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957.

So why worry if most everything is so small?

There are approximately 9000 objects in orbit. Only 800 of them are operational.

Objects fly around the earth at 18,000 to 25,000 miles per hour. A marble travelling through space can hit an object like a bowling ball going 500 mph.

What happens to objects left in space?Mrs. Cochrane



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