I think the costs of cleaning it up are greater than the potential benefits gained, especially if the junk isn’t currently causing too many problems. The only threat seems to be to satellites and anything else that is sent into Earth’s orbit. Though the objects are also likely to come back down to Earth, the U.S. Space Command monitors the trash and alerts NASA and other relevant agencies when the debris becomes threatening. Most of the time, the objects burn up during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere anyway, and when they don’t they usually land in the ocean, away from people.
I would have to disagree with the previous answer on this. I just had a recent lecture on this very topic and space debris should be taken very seriously. Even though the only threat is to the satellites, that should be enough to scare every military nation in the world, especially it’s citizens. If it becomes to the point where satellites cannot offer the services that we as a globalized species require, then our civilizations may crumble. Just imagine if the internet fails world wide for even 1 day, let alone forever. Every economy will collapse. wars will erupt from conflict, and human history will go back a century.
**Keep in mind when I wrote this I was having a considerable amount of fun and it may or may not be as dramatic as it sounds**
I don’t think it’s quite that dramatic…however, we are quite dependent on the services that are provided by the internet.
Space debris must at least be a big enough deal for the authorities to worry about. I read a few months ago about NASA putting together a Beautification Committee– for space.
Now it looks like they’ve developed a “LASER BROOM” to clean up.
Personally, I think that our clean up efforts are needed more on Earth than in space. I don’t think we can sacrifice any resources to clean up space when there are so many pressing environmental issues on Earth.
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