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Idina Menzel will clean up space junk??

9 hours ago, Jtalk4456 said:

that makes it even scarier...

Not if the pieces of junk are not actually the size of England.  It means the the thing is misleading. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, bearnard1212 said:

According to the information of the February 2020- over 2666 operational satellites and over 128 million pieces of debris flying around, the space junk issue has never been more pressing. The commercialisation of space is crowding Earth’s orbit at an unprecedented rate, with hundreds of spacecrafts being launched into space every year.

That future stuff has to be designed to be cleanupable at the very least goes without saying.  Perhaps that is all this thing is for.  There is not adding more and there is reducing what is there. 

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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12 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

Not if the pieces of junk are not actually the size of England.  It means the the thing is misleading. 

well if they're not the size of england why did you say that? doesn't make the graph misleading cuz you called them that big. But even being small, that's a lot of space junk. There's no Barely about that cloud of dots. If they keep going at current rate, they actually at some point may not be able to launch any more due to not having a safe orbit entry. That was specifically mentioned in the article

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1 hour ago, Jtalk4456 said:

well if they're not the size of england why did you say that? doesn't make the graph misleading cuz you called them that big. But even being small, that's a lot of space junk. There's no Barely about that cloud of dots. If they keep going at current rate, they actually at some point may not be able to launch any more due to not having a safe orbit entry. That was specifically mentioned in the article

Why did I say that?  Because that’s how big the dots are there. It’s not a graph.  Or not exactly anyway.  It’s a graphical representation of space junk.  Not a graph but a graphic. In order to make the pieces of space junk visible compared to a planet the size of a quarter that is the only way to show it.  The thing is those things vary wildly in size between something the size of a booster tank to something tha size of your fist.  The dots make them look way way bigger than they are though.  What makes them less dangerous is each piece of material has had its orbit precisely calculated.  If two of them collide though suddenly there are an unknown number of pieces and their orbits become suddenly unknown.  This creates a cone of probable location which is vastly larger than the actual size of the object.  To make it worse if a collision happens the probability exists for one of the now unknown objects to hit another doubling the problem.  Ithese a objects are also incredibly dangerous if you happen to be near one of them.  They can have astounding relative velocities.  To put something in orbit takes a lot of delta vee, and the farther out (or larger) something is the more it has.   This is one of the problems with the whole trash collection concept.  To move them out of the orbit they are in the vector has to be changed, and that takes however much fuel was used to put it there in the first place.  A lot of people think it’s like a space game and you can just go around picking things up.  You can’t.  Space in games isn’t realistic because real space would make an astoundingly shitty unforgiving game.  I was reading a thing about a game called “cruel world” which was actually designed to suck.  That game doesn’t suck nearly as hard as space.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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4 hours ago, Jtalk4456 said:

well if they're not the size of england why did you say that? doesn't make the graph misleading cuz you called them that big. But even being small, that's a lot of space junk. There's no Barely about that cloud of dots. If they keep going at current rate, they actually at some point may not be able to launch any more due to not having a safe orbit entry. That was specifically mentioned in the article

There are different sizes and different kinds of space junk. The problem is as I have already mentioned that the number of it is rather high and it`s dangerous for spacecrafts that can collide with these space junk and the whole space missions can be collapsed.

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12 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

1. The thing is those things vary wildly in size between something the size of a booster tank to something tha size of your fist.  The dots make them look way way bigger than they are though.

2. What makes them less dangerous is each piece of material has had its orbit precisely calculated.

3. If two of them collide though suddenly there are an unknown number of pieces and their orbits become suddenly unknown.  This creates a cone of probable location which is vastly larger than the actual size of the object.  To make it worse if a collision happens the probability exists for one of the now unknown objects to hit another doubling the problem.

4. To move them out of the orbit they are in the vector has to be changed, and that takes however much fuel was used to put it there in the first place.

1. Thing is I'm not looking at the size of the dots, but the sheer number of them, which is the issue.

Quote

 

The sheer number of objects in Earth's orbit may already be having a Kessler-like effect. Experts say that space congestion has gotten significantly worse since companies like SpaceX began launching large fleets of internet satellites into orbit.

"This has a massive impact on the launch side," Rocket Lab CEO Peter Beck told CNN Business in October. He added that rockets "have to try and weave their way up in between these [satellite] constellations."

 

(From the 1st article)

2. That means nothing when one dead piece of junk collides with something else.
 

Quote

 

In October, a defunct Soviet satellite and an old Chinese rocket body passed alarmingly close together. Since nobody could control either spacecraft, there was no way to prevent a collision.

Luckily, the objects did not crash. But if they had, astronomer Jonathan McDowell calculated it would have produced an explosion roughly equivalent to detonating 14 metric tons of TNT and sent chunks of spacecraft rocketing in all directions.

...

Scientists have observed real collisions in space as well. In 2007, China tested an anti-satellite missile by obliterating one of its own weather satellites. Two years later, one American and one Russian spacecraft accidentally collided. Those two events alone increased the amount of large debris in low-Earth orbit by about 70%.

...

Even tiny bits of space debris are dangerous, since they zip around the planet at roughly 10 times the speed of a bullet. Last year, the International Space Station had to maneuver away from space debris on three occasions, since a collision could endanger the astronauts on board.

3. Yeah exactly my point, regardless of how small the dots are, they exist and in that number, existing is an issue.

4. Care to explain how moving orbits takes the same amount of fuel as breaking thru the atmosphere and setting the orbit? That doesn't begin to make sense.

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My memory was the point originally made was there was that there was a lot of space for things to miss each other because the area involved is several times larger than the volume of the entire earth. You rebutted with the graphic but the graphic while honest about number doesn’t work for volume because the dots don’t show accurate volume.  It becomes a question of how important volume is.  I’m not sure the volume actually is as important a factor because while two objects may or may not miss each other if their oversized dots intersect the mere intersection means they possibly could have which could screw up predictions enormously.  The issue seems to be how well and fast can things be tracked.  If each of the objects could be accurately tracked in real time it would’nt necessarily be a problem but I doubt they can.  I don’t know how long it took to make that map but it could well have been years.  In such a case unknowns can multiply geometrically potentially much faster than they can be reduced again so accommodation has to be made.

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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From The Verge

 

Quote

The European Space Agency says the piece of debris that caused this particular chip was "possibly a paint flake or small metal fragment no bigger than a few thousandths of a millimeter across."

 

THE THREAT OF A PAINT FLAKE

 

It's pretty unnerving that something so small could cause such a significant crack, but the ISS is orbiting Earth at 17,150 miles per hour. The Cupola's massive 80 cm windows are made of fused silica and borosilicate glass that can help it withstand the force of this space junk — to an extent. An impact like the one above poses no real threat to the ISS, according to the ESA, but debris up to 1 cm could cause critical damage while anything larger than 10 cm could "shatter a satellite or spacecraft into pieces."

 

Paint flakes - let that sink in (no pun intended).

 

The only practical way of cleaning up space junk this small is with a laser. With enough energy, the ablation might be to knock it out of orbit and into space. Or, at least park within the vicinity of a Lagrange point.

 

I don't think anyone wants a laser pointed toward earth however unless the beam will strike the ocean. The concern being enough reflective scatter to cause blindness for anyone in the literal line-of-sight  (it's known to happen in industrial accidents involving high class lasers).

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4 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

My memory was the point originally made was there was that there was a lot of space for things to miss each other because the area involved is several times larger than the volume of the entire earth. You rebutted with the graphic but the graphic while honest about number doesn’t work for volume because the dots don’t show accurate volume.  It becomes a question of how important volume is.  I’m not sure the volume actually is as important a factor because while two objects may or may not miss each other if their oversized dots intersect the mere intersection means they possibly could have which could screw up predictions enormously.  The issue seems to be how well and fast can things be tracked.  If each of the objects could be accurately tracked in real time it would’nt necessarily be a problem but I doubt they can.  I don’t know how long it took to make that map but it could well have been years.  In such a case unknowns can multiply geometrically potentially much faster than they can be reduced again so accommodation has to be made.

 

I went back and checked, someone was claiming because space is so vast there's little danger of collision.

 

Didn't get round to addressing this at the time, but thing sin orbits don't stay in place and if there's any eccentricity in the orbits of two objects that have their orbits cross each other then sooner or later they will run into each other. Because eccentricity means the two objects time to complete an orbit is not identical, and that means the amount of distance by which they miss at the crossing point is constantly changing, eventually it will hit zero.

 

You have to think of a satellites size as not it's physical size, but a bar forming a ring aroudn the earth with a thickness thats based on the largest possibble cross section of the satellite. Throw in uncertainties about the velocity and/or position and/or orbit of some objects and a single object can make a very large chunk of real estate unusable.

 

And on top of that a lot of the empty orbits out their aren't very useful for anything, and when where sending something outside of earth orbit, (or from a low orbit to a higher one) then where further constrained on the exit we can take, various factors say that staying within the plane of the orbit your aiming for is best, that creates a relatively narrow set of trajectories out of LEO or off the surface of the earth, if those get clogged with debris getting from low orbit to anywhere else becomes much more difficult.

 

If push came to shove we really could deal with a major mess up their that made launches difficult but it would be insanely expensive and difficult.

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1 hour ago, CarlBar said:

 

I went back and checked, someone was claiming because space is so vast there's little danger of collision.

 

Didn't get round to addressing this at the time, but thing sin orbits don't stay in place and if there's any eccentricity in the orbits of two objects that have their orbits cross each other then sooner or later they will run into each other. Because eccentricity means the two objects time to complete an orbit is not identical, and that means the amount of distance by which they miss at the crossing point is constantly changing, eventually it will hit zero.

 

You have to think of a satellites size as not it's physical size, but a bar forming a ring aroudn the earth with a thickness thats based on the largest possibble cross section of the satellite. Throw in uncertainties about the velocity and/or position and/or orbit of some objects and a single object can make a very large chunk of real estate unusable.

 

And on top of that a lot of the empty orbits out their aren't very useful for anything, and when where sending something outside of earth orbit, (or from a low orbit to a higher one) then where further constrained on the exit we can take, various factors say that staying within the plane of the orbit your aiming for is best, that creates a relatively narrow set of trajectories out of LEO or off the surface of the earth, if those get clogged with debris getting from low orbit to anywhere else becomes much more difficult.

 

If push came to shove we really could deal with a major mess up their that made launches difficult but it would be insanely expensive and difficult.

My memory is polar orbit stuff is eccentric so there is already stuff in there with known eccentric orbits.  There was some sort of scare about an approaching asteroid that turned out to be space junk.  Some ancient booster or something that had a wildly eccentric orbit.  The problem is eventually can be a mighty long time.  You may have solid reasoning.  My thought ran on a different path though it came to more or less the same conclusion.  Either, neither, or both may be the worry.  I don’t know.

 

There’s a thing called a parking orbit. I don’t know how they work though. My worry is about how locations of these things are determined.  There relatively tiny non light emitting things very very far away that move very fast.  A lot of those locations could have been derived from other stuff.   I don’t know how that is done but it may be done many different ways.  If not, it’s not a known location but a known area of location.  One that possibly gets bigger over time.  As such any change made to that object’s vector could mess EVERYTHING up, and those possible areas could get massively bigger very fast. 

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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Eccentricity in this case refers to is how much the orbit differs from a perfect circle. Your thinking of inclination with the polar thing, though orbits away from the equator are harder to egt low eccentricity on.

 

As for where a lot of this stuff is, provided you have acurratte data from the launch on velocity and vector anything discarded can be plotted out fairly accurately, plus most of the things bigger than a man are going to show up on space tracking radar. The catches as far as disaster potential are:

 

 

A) We only generally predict orbits out to a very limited time in front, from a you or i perspective it's a long time, (years at the minimum, generally decades or more), but there comes a point at which the complex gravity interactions, (we can only account for so many gravity sources in our current modelling), make it effectively impossible. So somthing could cause an issue a hundred years from now, but we might not be able to see it in our simulations.

 

B) Things go wrong, bits fall off at times and places stuff isn't supposed to fall off. This can even happen well after a satellite is in orbit. This results in 2 or more objects travelling in orbits neither of which matches the pre-mishap orbit. Suddenly things that where safe no longer are.

 

C) The effect of the earths atmosphere on lower orbiting objects can be unpredictable as the atmosphere expands and contracts based on many factors, some of which we can't predict. In a similar vein varying solar activity changes the radiation pressure effecting things in orbit. That throws things some more, (refer back to point A for the consequences).

 

D) You can never rule out deliberate action by nation states at some point.

 

TLDR we know pretty well where everything is, but there's enough things we can't model and enough edge cases to create some real trouble potential over time.

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35 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

Eccentricity in this case refers to is how much the orbit differs from a perfect circle. Your thinking of inclination with the polar thing, though orbits away from the equator are harder to egt low eccentricity on.

 

As for where a lot of this stuff is, provided you have acurratte data from the launch on velocity and vector anything discarded can be plotted out fairly accurately, plus most of the things bigger than a man are going to show up on space tracking radar. The catches as far as disaster potential are:

 

 

A) We only generally predict orbits out to a very limited time in front, from a you or i perspective it's a long time, (years at the minimum, generally decades or more), but there comes a point at which the complex gravity interactions, (we can only account for so many gravity sources in our current modelling), make it effectively impossible. So somthing could cause an issue a hundred years from now, but we might not be able to see it in our simulations.

 

B) Things go wrong, bits fall off at times and places stuff isn't supposed to fall off. This can even happen well after a satellite is in orbit. This results in 2 or more objects travelling in orbits neither of which matches the pre-mishap orbit. Suddenly things that where safe no longer are.

 

C) The effect of the earths atmosphere on lower orbiting objects can be unpredictable as the atmosphere expands and contracts based on many factors, some of which we can't predict. In a similar vein varying solar activity changes the radiation pressure effecting things in orbit. That throws things some more, (refer back to point A for the consequences).

 

D) You can never rule out deliberate action by nation states at some point.

 

TLDR we know pretty well where everything is, but there's enough things we can't model and enough edge cases to create some real trouble potential over time.

That is the definition I was using.  I forget why they do eccentric polar orbits.  There was a reason though. Maybe something Cold War oriented.  It was a big reason the space shuttle needed solid rocket boosters.  The military needed tha ability so it made things heavier.  The original shuttle designs didn’t have solid rocket boosters it was just the plane and the big tank.

 

re:C

My understanding is anything that comes close enough to the earth to have issues with atmosphere is going to reenter pretty quickly so probably doesn’t matter much.  The thing is  I also understand things at the wrong angle can actually bounce off the atmosphere.  Not sure what that is or how it works. 

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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14 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

My memory was the point originally made was there was that there was a lot of space for things to miss each other because the area involved is several times larger than the volume of the entire earth. You rebutted with the graphic but the graphic while honest about number doesn’t work for volume because the dots don’t show accurate volume.  It becomes a question of how important volume is.  I’m not sure the volume actually is as important a factor because while two objects may or may not miss each other if their oversized dots intersect the mere intersection means they possibly could have which could screw up predictions enormously.  The issue seems to be how well and fast can things be tracked.  If each of the objects could be accurately tracked in real time it would’nt necessarily be a problem but I doubt they can.  I don’t know how long it took to make that map but it could well have been years.  In such a case unknowns can multiply geometrically potentially much faster than they can be reduced again so accommodation has to be made.

Scientists cannot track each of the dot. I guess that a bit pointless because some space debris can burn down in the atmosphere of Earth, that is why the idea of tracking them is useless, more important is to clean up Earth orbit from these space debris.

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4 hours ago, bearnard1212 said:

Scientists cannot track each of the dot. I guess that a bit pointless because some space debris can burn down in the atmosphere of Earth, that is why the idea of tracking them is useless, more important is to clean up Earth orbit from these space debris.

If it’s in a stable orbit it will take a very long time to reenter  if it happens at alll.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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13 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

My understanding is anything that comes close enough to the earth to have issues with atmosphere is going to reenter pretty quickly so probably doesn’t matter much.

 

#Yes and no. Anything subject to continuous atmospheric drag is going to de-orbit on it's own eventually, (though it could still take years). But the earths atmosphere can expand and contract and even be bulged on just one side, that means the drag can differ at different points in an orbit and satellites normally above the range where it's an issue can be suddenly affected. It means the effect of earths atmosphere isn't a constant predictable thing. And that means somthing that looked like it was going to come down nice and safe without hitting anything else in orbit on the way down is suddenly in the path of somthing else.

 

It's one thing to have a satellite come down eventually, it's quiet another for it to unpredictably ram another one on the way down.

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What concerns me here is the tech involved in the actual connection here hasn’t changed a whole lot since the 60’s and back then nasa had the same thought, changed their minds because they thought it would fail, went to something different, and failed anyway. If this works it will mean that nasa, which was made up of a whole lot of the smartest people we had, went up a blind alley after making a wrong decision.  I’m just not confident.  Might have to be tried anyway.  I don’t know.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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8 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

What concerns me here is the tech involved in the actual connection here hasn’t changed a whole lot since the 60’s and back then nasa had the same thought, changed their minds because they thought it would fail, went to something different, and failed anyway. If this works it will mean that nasa, which was made up of a whole lot of the smartest people we had, went up a blind alley after making a wrong decision.  I’m just not confident.  Might have to be tried anyway.  I don’t know.

 

They're good, but that doesn't make them infallible.

 

I'd also argue that the construction of satellites going up now is significantly different than then. A lot of things have gotten a lot smaller, lighter, and more compact. Thats going to have implications that are probably relevant here.

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31 minutes ago, CarlBar said:

 

They're good, but that doesn't make them infallible.

 

I'd also argue that the construction of satellites going up now is significantly different than then. A lot of things have gotten a lot smaller, lighter, and more compact. Thats going to have implications that are probably relevant here.

True.  For what it’s worth I really do hope it works.  I’m just not sure it will.   Smaller and lighter will mean less fuel for faster movement.  If they can connect it will help a lot.  Connection has always been the bugbear though.  Could fix that for future stuff.  Make it easy.  The problem is the old stuff has already clogged everything.  If a given satellite has any ferrous metal at all it could eventually be drawn in by a magnet.  The problem is time.  Permanent magnets that could sit there for months exerting tiny fractions of a gee are really heavy and they can’t be turned off. Electromagnets eat fuel to run for long periods of time.   I guess we can only hope that something really clever is thought of.  A satellite that takes six months to grab one piece of space junk and dispose of it could have its points. Every little bit helps.  

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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