By B.N. Frank
Dangerous levels of space junk isn’t the only reason experts continue to warn and oppose satellites and similar vehicles being launched (see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13). However, now that an 18-ton rocket has fallen out of the sky – it’s probably a good time to at least take that threat seriously.
- A Chinese rocket that became one of the largest pieces of space debris plummeted toward Earth and landed in the Atlantic Ocean on May 11.
- The rocket’s empty core stage, weighing nearly 18 tons, is the largest piece of space debris to fall uncontrolled back to Earth since 1991.
- NASA currently estimates that there are some 21,000 pieces of space junk larger than a softball orbiting the Earth that can damage a satellite or spacecraft.
- Companies such as Astroscale and Northrop Grumman are seeking to clean up space debris.
Fingers crossed that the celebrated space plane being launched tomorrow by the U.S. Space Force is worth ALL the risks.
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