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Space Debris To Bring Catastrophic Results For Satellites, Humans; ESA Releases Video

First Posted: Apr 13, 2017 06:10 AM EDT
Space Debris
A video released by ESA shows the dangers that space debris poses to satellites and humans.
(Photo : BBC Newsnight/YouTube screenshot)

The European Space Agency (ESA) has recently released a video that warns of the dangers that cosmic debris pose to satellites and even astronauts. ESA feels that space debris is leading to an imminent danger that could bring catastrophic results for man-made technology and objects. The space agency also fears that the space trash may have an effect similar to an exploding grenade on the human-made objects in space, including the International Space Station (ISS).

According to a News Nation report, international scientists will have a meeting in Darmstadt, Germany, next week during the seventh European Conference on Space Debris. The object of the conference, to be held at ESA’s European Space Operations Centre from April 18 to April 21, would be to discuss the issue of how space debris that float in the Earth’s orbit could lead to a disastrous collision in space. The scientists will talk about debris avoidance tactics, concepts to remove the debris and how to avoid creating more space trash.

In the video released by ESA, Head of Space Debris Office Holger Krag is shown talking about the impact that could be generated if, or when, space debris collides with a satellite. “It is not comparable to a gunshot. The energy contained in a one centimetre particle hitting a satellite at that velocity, roughly corresponds to an exploding grenade,” Krag said. “These collisions generate more fragments, and these fragments are candidates for new collisions to come.”

Incidentally, more than 4,900 space launches have taken place since 1957, which have left millions of objects behind in space. Of these millions of objects, nearly 94 percent do not serve any useful purpose anymore and only 4 percent of these are working spacecrafts. 64 percent of the space junk comprises of fragments from collisions, explosions or breakups of rocket bodies or satellites.

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