Friday, September 18, 2009

Who'll Think Of The Space Junk?

When the amount of crap in orbit becomes enough of a problem that DARPA wants to find a solution, you begin to realise what pigs we really are.  You also begin to realise that we're probably not going to make it through the weather crisis, either.  Unless we have some creative solutions.

Solution to global warming?  Put even more space junk up there to deflect some sun.  Worry about cleaning it up in 20 - 100 years when we have the temperature and weather back in some semblance of balance.  But it interferes with our satellites? Well I'd say with the kinds of austerity and cutting back on wastes of resources that global warming is going to bring, the least of your problems will be that satellite radio isn't working...

Solution to the space junk for whenever we want to clean it up?  A couple of years ago (in 1993/1994 I seemt o recall) I was talking to a few NASA types via BBS echomail and we figured that there were ways to get reuseable craft up there from converting existing types of craft, using water ablation shields, etc etc etc yada yada...  The purpose?  To clean up space junk...

Part of the solution was to attract private investment, set up something along the lines of converted Blackbird aircraft and small remote controlled (which these days would be autonomous) scoop craft to collect the junk and bring it to your shuttle craft.  In order to save bringing all that junk back down, the plan was to aggregate it at an L5 point, and at some stage begin to salvage some of the junk and cobble together a habitat.

See, the other thing is that space is not owned by anyone.  You make a space station, you're sovereign.  So in addition to having collected a fee for removing space junk, you've established a stockpile of salvaged material, a habitat, and in effect, a new world...

So will someone please think of the space junk?

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