Re: What are we going to do about all the space junk?

Michael S. Lorrey (
Thu, 29 Apr 1999 16:36:39 -0400

Gina Miller wrote:

> "Billy Brown" WROTE:
> >>I see two big issues that are being overlooked here:
> >1) Space junk is only a medium-size problem. It certainly isn't
> worthwhile to launch a major space program just to corral the stuff.
> Schemes like robotic junk-retrieval tugs will end up costing tens of
> millions of dollars per object retrieved, and there are tens of
> thousands of relatively significant objects up there. That adds up
> to an awful lot of zeros.

> I agree and yet:
> Space junk passes within 1 1/2 miles of ozone-mapping satellite


> ^AP Aerospace Writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - An ozone-
> measuring
> satellite trailing space shuttle Discovery came frighteningly close
> to a
> 500-pound piece of space junk that could have smashed it to pieces.

The 1/5 mile passby of a rocketmotor is near, but still quite distant. Complaining about that is about the same ratio (size v. distance) as complaining that Venus comes too close to the earth....Sounds more like a science journalist who needs to justify her job more than anything...

Mike Lorrey