A Tax On Smartphones Could Help Pay For The Removal Of Space Debris

So far, governments have opted to deal with the problem of space junk by implementing policies to reduce the creation of more debris. But that alone won't cut it — we also need to be removing stuff from orbit. One way to cover the high costs of space junk disposal would be a $1 tax on every GPS chip in a smartphone. » 12/15/14 1:40pm 12/15/14 1:40pm

The Earth Is Surrounded By A Great Swirling Vortex Of Trash

Just what are all those tiny, swirling dots swooping gracefully around the Earth? Are those pinprick points the ghosts of far away stars? Perhaps they are the gaseous remains of some far away nebula? Or, maybe, it's just a giant orbital swarm of trash. » 10/31/14 8:40am 10/31/14 8:40am

Here's What Our Space Junk Looks Like After It's Crashed Back To Earth

What goes up toward space can come crashing down again—in the plains of Texas and the deserts of Saudi Arabia, through barn roofs and into the Amazon. Check out these photographs of battered and decaying pieces of rocketry that are now merely space junk.http://io9.com/5986635/the-we... » 6/26/14 3:45pm 6/26/14 3:45pm

A Startling Image That Shows Why Space Junk is a Nightmare

If you saw the movie Gravity, then you know that space debris can be deadly. Some scientists warn that the crud in Earth's orbit may have reached a dangerous "tipping point." But to prove the point, here's an image from artist Michael Najjar that shows every single piece of real-life junk in our orbit. » 12/31/13 12:30pm 12/31/13 12:30pm

How to Clean Up Deadly Space Junk Before Disaster Strikes

Hit film Gravity offers a hyper-realistic portrait of life in space, including the possibility that an avalanche of space debris could be fatal. This is a real threat, so we'd better be ready. Here are ideas that scientists, engineers and other experts have proposed to reduce the space junk threat, and clean up our… » 10/10/13 11:21am 10/10/13 11:21am

Earth's orbit is swarming with debris — meet the satellite designed to…

At any given time, NASA is keeping track of about 16,000 pieces of space junk in Earth's orbit — and those are just the big chunks. This debris poses a serious safety hazard, primarily to operational satellites in the planet's orbit, but also to astronauts like those on board the ISS. In fact, according to some NASA… » 2/17/12 1:50pm 2/17/12 1:50pm

Why a tungsten dust cloud could help solve the space junk crisis

After fifty years of space exploration, humanity has left well over 5000 tons of debris up there, and the ever growing pile of space junk poses a serious risk to spacecraft. Now there's a solution...and it's only slightly crazy. » 4/13/11 5:30pm 4/13/11 5:30pm

That's No Moon... That's A Bunch Of Free-Floating Debris

If analysis of new images of Jupiter are to be believed, the planet may have found itself with a new ring recently, which may answer the question of what happened to disappearing moon S/2000 J 11... » 3/20/10 9:00am 3/20/10 9:00am

The Earth Has A Halo Of Space Crap

Did you know there are at least 9,000 chunks of trash orbiting the Earth? Turns out they look gorgeous and wreath-y, at least in this gallery images depicting Earth's space junk. [U.S. News & World Report]
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