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Space & Astronomy

'Mega-constellations' could cause crashes

By T.K. Randall
April 20, 2017 · Comment icon 5 comments

The more satellites there are, the greater the potential for collisions. Image Credit: NASA
Concerns have been raised over the number of new satellites being launched over the next few years.
Recent research funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) has suggested that plans by major technology firms such as Google and SpaceX to launch networks of miniature satellites in to space could ultimately do more harm than good.

These so-called 'mega-constellations' could place so many new satellites in to orbit that future collisions will be inevitable - further adding to the ever-growing threat posed by space debris.

The research, which was conducted by Dr Hugh Lewis from the University of Southampton and colleagues, involved creating a simulation to predict when future collisions will occur.
The results indicated a 50% increase in satellite crashes over the coming years.

On the plus side however, ESA is looking to establish new rules for such launches that would strictly control how satellites are disposed of once missions are over.

With any luck, this will help to keep the problem from escalating further out of control.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (5)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
So it will be like "rush hour" in any large city.  It will make it tricky to launch probes to other planets and other objects in space.
Comment icon #2 Posted by taniwha 6 years ago
A plasma bomb should help vaporize some of those debris clouds.
Comment icon #3 Posted by LV-426 6 years ago
As a species, we just don't seem to learn. Every day we amaze and astound with new breakthroughs in science and technology, while simultaneously forgetting the basics. We've surely made enough mistakes terrestrially to see the impending problems with space debris, or so you would think...
Comment icon #4 Posted by EBE Hybrid 6 years ago
How about using a couple of crarft to drag a trawling net to scoop up the expired satalites, I'm sure that there must be some astro-physicists who can work out the best navigation course, after all its not brain surgery! Once debris has been collected drag it too a lunar recycling plant where the reclaimed materials and fuel could be repurposed for a future moon base or interplanetary missions
Comment icon #5 Posted by MWoo7 6 years ago
or in the least collect it together, keyword keyset TOGETHER, figure out movement trans later, should have been done already but we are humans after all , check parks track record among many fun tries of play.   re / Re / RE: re actually does not mean regards or even regarding, but does have meaning regarding the following: closely related and/or referenced to a Latin word (the nominative is res), meaning "in the matter of" And in closing with a lawyer boss/friend's lexicon/vocab: BOTTOM LINE:     As being paramount to most legal discussions, the Bottom Line is that our agreements are met and ... [More]

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