Air Date: Week of July 17, 1998
This week, facts about.. space trash.
CURWOOD: Two years ago on July 24, satellite monitors spotted a chunk of an old rocket colliding with a French military satellite, severely damaging it. This was the first time such a collision was observed, but space trash has been dinging, denting, and disabling space equipment for years. Over 10,000 humanmade objects have been tracked in orbit, and 95% is junk. And when you count bits smaller than 4 inches, which can't be detected by radar, there are probably tens of millions of pieces of debris. But even those tiny fragments pack quite a punch. Because they can travel up to 30,000 miles an hour, they can hit with the force ofspeeding bullets. In fact, space shuttle cockpit windows have had to be replaced after being pitted and fractured by zooming paint flecks. In addition to all the junk in orbit, there's a fair amount of litter on the moon and on Mars and other planets. Among the objects that have been left behind are old rovers, antennas, cameras, and golf balls. And for this week that's the Living on Earth Almanac.
Living on Earth wants to hear from you!
P.O. Box 990007
Boston, MA, USA 02199
Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.
Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.
Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion
The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.
Energy Foundation: Serving the public interest by helping to build a strong, clean energy economy.
Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.
Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth