Mind-blowing space junk map shows '200 ticking time bombs' in orbit around the Earth


[27-04-2021 01:57 PM]

Ammon News - Scientists have created the space junk map, AstriaGraph, which shows where thousands of human-made objects are located. The technology can track and predict its behaviour.

A mind-blowing space junk map shows '200 ticking time bombs' in orbit around the Earth.

The huge pieces of space debris are large rocket bodies which have the potential to break into thousands of pieces.

They are shown on AstriaGraph, a map which shows where each human-made object is located in space.

A team of scientists in the US has created the technology to track and predict the behaviour of space junk, the BBC reports.

This is because there is a risk it could crash into functioning satellites which provide GPS, weather warnings and other vital services and stop working.

The map, funded by the US government, is tracking more than 26,000 objects floating around space.

They vary in size from a smartphone to the Space Station, the team said.

Around 3,500 of these are working satellites - but everything else is junk.

Professor Moriba Jah, an aerospace engineer at the University of Texas in the US, said there are what around 200 of what he called “super-spreader” events.

They belong to at least three countries.

He said these are “large rocket bodies that have been up there for decades that are pretty much ticking time bombs”.

Prof Jah added: “In that at some point they will either explode or something will hit them and they will become many tens of thousands of pieces.”

Experts have warned space junk is becoming a growing problem as more satellites and rockets are released into orbit.

NASA says it moves very fast and can reach speeds of 18,000 miles per hours -nearly seven times faster than a bullet.

It can includes pieces of space craft, defunct satellites, parts of rockets and tiny flecks of paint.

The organisation describes the problem as an “international challenge” which is the responsibility of each “spacefaring country”.

Last year, Japan announced it is planning to build the world’s first wooden satellite in a bid to reduce space junk.

This is because satellites made of wood would burn up without releasing harmful substances into the atmosphere.

*dailystar




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