The low-Earth orbit is infested with over 20000 satellites and pieces of garbage. Not only do humans generate garbage on Earth but also in the space region surrounding the Earth. There are many satellites and debris maneuvers around Earth. Some satellites are active; others are inoperative, topping up to the already existing debris from the burnt rockets and satellites. Over time this debris collides amongst each other creating particulates which hinder safe navigation through space.
Private space companies preparing to launch satellites are skeptical of this debris, fearing that they may be barricaded from entering space without collisions. Although this challenge may seem miniature, the satellite developers are fearful that the astronauts will experience accidents while performing spacewalks. The components of the satellites may start malfunctioning once the debris collides with them or enters them.
A Canadian company has dedicated its resources to alleviate this problem. NorthStar Earth & Space, located in Montreal, stated that it would be developing satellites dedicated to minimizing the debris in space and monitoring any company bringing in more garbage through their operations. Thales Alenia Space revealed that it has received a contract requesting it to develop the first three satellites in the Skylark constellation.
The chief of the European Space Agency heading the Space Debris Office, Holger Krag, explained that people are dependent on satellite operations for weather updates and navigation to places they don’t know. The GPS satellites, television signals, and internet connection depend on space satellites, rendering debris management activities crucial. The European Space Agency articulated that its research indicates the accumulation of approximately 12 spacecraft components in space yearly for the last two decades.
NorthStar explained that it is developing satellites with telescopes to monitor space debris creation while in space, contrary to the current technology where telescopes installed on Earth surface detecting debris in space. NorthStar’s chief executive, Stewart Bain, retorted that astronauts’ continuous movement into space, the International Space Station, and other parts of the cosmos and back to Earth is crucial. And this is why they are working to resolve the garbage problem in space. Additionally, astronauts and researchers working in space and desire to precise experiment on the components of space would not be able to do so if the debris continues to pile in space.
To conclude, the latest victim of space debris accumulation is the International Space Station, which forced a maneuver around a huge chunk of garbage. NorthStar discovered that the telescopes working from Earth are less accurate since they may take an operational satellite and confuse it with a defunct or space debris.