Most of us don’t spend our days pondering the finer points of the paint chip unless there is an app for it. But if it’s a paint chip in space we should all be taking a closer look. Paint chips and other space junk is the latest cause for concern in the technology world. Among the tens of millions of pieces of space junk are little things like paint chips that could collide with one of the communications satellites that ring the earth. Such an impact at high speed means that the tiniest particle of space junk could seriously injure a satellite.
And why should we care? Everything from our television signals, to internet connections to phone calls are dependent on communication satellites. A major impact could set us back 80 years – back to the time when Edwin Hubble was still learning the inner workings of the galaxies. It may have been a simpler time but who wants to go back to the era of no apps, no movies on DVD, no high definition television and well, to a completely alien existence – except there were no alien movies back then.
The big problem is that space junk like all other junk is increasing at a worrisome rate, up 40 percent in the past four years and rising. All of which means close encounters of all kinds are around 13,000 per week now. So what to do except worry? As it turns out there’s nothing we ordinary earthlings can do. The US Air Force and a gaggle of scientists are tracking. But if someone wants to design a giant net to catch all that space junk, it’s been noted that silk threads from certain spiders are stronger than steel. Oh science where would we be without ye.
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