Report: Astro trash poses increasing dangers to spacecraft, satellites
It seems prescient now that an artist in 1978 performed this rendering to highlight the danger of orbital debris.
September 2nd, 2011
09:43 AM ET

Report: Astro trash poses increasing dangers to spacecraft, satellites

It sounds like the theme of a 1980s video game, but the National Research Council say NASA should seriously consider ways to better tackle the problem of space debris.

In a 180-page report out this week, the council said NASA, partly because of slashed funding, is facing mounting pressure to find ways to lessen the dangers "posed by abandoned equipment, spent rocket bodies, and other debris orbiting the Earth." Oh, and meteoroids, too, an ex-NASA department head added.

Some models show that the amount of debris has reached a “tipping point,” meaning there is enough junk already in orbit that it could keep colliding, creating more debris and endangering spacecraft, satellites and the International Space Station.

The council said debris has already destroyed satellites, and the space station recently experienced a near miss. CNN reported another close call in March 2009.

Where is Bruce Willis when you need him?

Read the full post on CNN's Light Years blog
Post by:
Filed under: NASA • Space
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. raven

    Hey gung hoe! I have no idea what youre talkin about? I have no animosity toward anyone here. Maybe trolls were on the hustle.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy©


    Are you from Ork?
    Do you wear multi-colored suspenders?

    September 2, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    He was talking to me, sista.
    He has trouble with punctuation, due to his phone.

    September 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Anomic Office Drone

    Will we be shooting at space garbage with lasers? Because I volunteer to do that if I'm provided with a space craft and lasers.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat2u

    @who I perceive to be fake banasy at 2:54 PM

    I believe I've made clear in my posts that i live on the gulf coast.
    Looks like it's time for a geography lesson dude / dudette.
    OK is no where near the gulf coast.

    September 2, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©


    I said ORK, not OK.
    I was referencing your Nanoo nanoo comment.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    Oh, and that *was* me, bobcat2u.

    September 2, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Scottish Mama

    Hello Banasy, Raven, Gung hoe and bobcat2u. Haven't been here in a while and the troll has been after me, I guess he missed
    @Gung the other day I used the name Angel and we agreed on something I think I may have trolled someone you usually do not get along with. So I wanted to clear that up and tell the real Angel, if there is another one I did not know it was taken.

    September 2, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jordan scene

    So let's assume a highly advanced extra terrestrial race, that just so happens to be environmentalists, comes across this space trash, does this mean china is first to be invaded?

    September 2, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  10. leeintulsa

    Seems we could design a fighter. That doesn't have to launch from earth. Could dock/refuel at the space station.

    With a frickin lazer attached to its head. Or maybe a scow. We could recycle some of it.

    September 2, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. U.S. Job fAIR 2012

    Create a bunch of problems messing around with other countries all the way back into big Bill Clinton-
    Then pay to clean it up !!!! A truly American solution. WORKS.... no reason to stop now.

    Because the claim is IF they dont mess it up first.... someone else will.

    Who can argue with infallible libertarian diatribes posing as "logic?"

    September 2, 2011 at 6:55 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cicero @US Job fAIR 2012

    "Yet ! the elected men in government are compelled to show a public face of sympathy for the oppressed and must pretend, at all times, to be one with them...seeking to rectify the very wrong they themselves have secretly comitted." is not the amount of humor one consumes that determins is the amount of calories. (your body is the most amazing engine ever, and like any engine, the more fuel it goes through the sooner it wears out and dies)

    September 2, 2011 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jazzee

    Dear CNN Team and readers, as a participant of Singularity University '11 at NASA Ames, I would be very happy to share with you my video about space debris :

    I hope you will like it and feel free to publish it and share it.


    September 3, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Jazzee

    Dear CNN team and reader,

    My goal now is to create an INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION where country from all over the world coud collaborate, cooperate and regulate the space trash/debris/satellite regulations

    Feel free to contact me if interested , my e-mail is in the video

    September 3, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jerry Meadows

    Mother Nature takes a sneeze and blows the debris towards the nearest black hole and no more problem.B-)

    September 5, 2011 at 5:09 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3