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Monday, July 23, 2012

ESA alarmed about the environmental impact of space debris


The European Space Agency (ESA) said today that the possibility that a ship be stranded in orbit after colliding with a piece of space debris, as shown in "Gravity", the next film by Alfonso Cuaron, "might happen" if waste levels continue to rise.

The ESA said in a statement that the over six thousand satellites launched since the beginning of the space age, less than a thousand remain operational while the rest have re-entered the atmosphere or in orbit is abandoned.


That situation, the agency said, implies a high risk of creating new pieces of space junk if your batteries or fuel in their tanks arrived to explode.

As an example of the potential harm of those remains, ESA explained that a one inch screw just flying over the Earth at a speed of 7.5 kilometers per second has a "fatal diameter" enough to destroy a satellite.

Even if you do not return to launch and new satellites, the simulations show that levels of debris into orbit continue to increase, a situation which justifies the ESA launch of its "Clean Space".

With her research methods that help minimize the environmental impact of European space activities, reducing waste generation both on Earth and in space.

The Director General of ESA, Jean-Jacques Dordain, said in the statement that the implementation of "Clean Space" is one of the main objectives of its agenda for 2015, before the "obligation to leave the room for the next generation just as we find: Impeccable. "

"Clean Space", in his view, there is a new program, but a new way to design all ESA programs, which calls for an entire space sector.

His projects include monitoring the impact of space technologies on the environment, from design and manufacture to disposal at the end of its useful life.

Among the new industrial processes that are included in this philosophy, for example, are methods such as welding "friction-agitation" which allows you to use less material and less energy to produce higher quality results.

And with them, according to the Agency, all parties win because "respect for the environment often go hand in hand with greater efficiency," which offers the industry a competitive advantage.

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