There was an interesting show on TLC
about spacebourne debris
. Typical space junk travels at thousands of miles per hour
, and to be called "dangerous
" only has to be a few millimeter
s in size. A satellite
(or other spacecraft
) can be destroyed
by a piece of space junk. Either way, more space junk will probably be broken off the damaged craft and become trash, due to the collision
This brings up the possiblity of a chain reaction
, where space junk from damaged spacecraft flys about only to damage other spacecraft, generating more junk, etc.
It becomes more interesting when you think of how many satellites are already orbiting up there, and the fact that a project called Teledesic
wants to add around 300 more. If a satellite "chain destruction" were to occur, the Earth would be surrounded by millions of little orbiting spacecraft bits whizzing about at hundreds of miles per second.
It could form a sturdy barrier
making space travel from earth impossible, and sending out a strong "GO AWAY" message to any visitors
of Earth. Astronomers
are not thrilled about this.
To top it all off, Teledesic
is a pet project of Bill Gates
See also a preposterous flotilla of deadly orbiting space-junk