The Giant Junkyard over Our Heads

Space may be the final frontier

But it is also the giant junkyard in the sky. Space exploration has been mesmerizing to many scientists. The mystery of what the universe holds has captivated a broad international audience for over 70 years.

Every since Russia was prosperous in launching the first satellite in 1957, other nations, including America, have sought to explore space.

Exploration has caused a problem

This desire has led to a very complex issue. One that has caused probably millions of dollars, if not billions, in damage. Since man has not been able to venture past the moon with much frequency, the area between the moon and the earth has become filled with space junk.

It is junk because these are cast off items, broken satellites, abandoned rockets and more. A lot of these items orbit the earth at speeds over 16,000 mph. Unfortunately, this debris has no directional control and they have crashed into vital working satellites.

This is a problem. Satellites are not cheap, and they are tough to repair now that the space shuttle system has been mothballed.

They have a place to go

For approx. 50 years now, the different nations have been trying to do something about this problem. Without much press, these nations have been sending what satellites and other space junk they can messages. These messages instruct the spacecraft to alter their course and leave orbit.

The nations are not directing the space junk to land in populated areas. They have all agreed that a desolate area, 2500 miles east of New Zealand is the ideal spot for their space junk cemetery.

The remoteness of the area almost virtually guarantees that no one will be injured, and no private or public property will be damaged. The most well-known spacecraft to enter the cemetery was the Russian space station Mir.

There is one technical problem that arises when space agencies attempt to land space junk in this cemetery. They can lose control of the space junk and it will land anywhere.

But that is not the only issue

It is a good thing that the different nations are acting to clean up the universe. After all it is their junk and their responsibility. The question is who is going to clean up that part of the Pacific after it has become polluted and populated from all of this space junk?