“How do you solve a problem like Debris…ahh?”
Public awareness of the clutter and rubbish humankind is littering our planet and oceans with has never been higher. David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg have firmly established the need to change our behaviour to avoid a catastrophe. But, whilst many companies and consumers are changing their behaviour to avoid plastic waste, a far bigger threat is looming, and one that will be much harder to solve. Currently over 130 million pieces of debris orbit our planet, ranging from microscopic to the size of a bus.
These are all in an uncontrollable set of orbits, many of the debris objects are smaller than a few cm, and as such, cannot be tracked. Yet, travelling at around 17,000 mph, pieces the size of a pea, could devastate a spacecraft, kill an astronaut, or astro-tourist and create a knock on effect, creating more and more debris, known as the Kessler Syndrome, famously seen in the Hollywood Movie “Gravity”.
The impact of this would be devastating to global climate monitoring, defence, navigation, shipping and pretty much every part of our lives. With the launch of the so called “mega” constellations, adding tens of thousands of new satellites, we are at a crisis tipping point.
Nick Howes, a Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society, Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Lead Research and Development scientist for a multinational research and engineering company, explains the issues, and possible ways to stop this from happening.
The meeting will be hosted on Zoom.us and where possible will be simulcast on YouTube.
The login details are as follows…
Topic: IAA Zoom Meeting Nick Howes
Time: Oct 7, 2020 07:30 PM London
Meeting ID: 826 7296 3441
The Zoom Waiting Room will open at 19:15 with a view to getting started at 19:30 sharp.