A scientist said that Earth will develop rings like Saturn
There will someday be rings of space-gunk around Earth.
So predicts Jake Abbott, a robotics professor at the University of Utah who states “Earth is on course to have its own rings. They’ll just be made of junk.” Via a link to a company blog.
NASA estimates there are at least 26,000 pieces of space junk being tracked by the Department of Defense. These small & large fragments orbit Earth.
This includes the debris that is too small to be tracked but is still large enough to pose a threat to human spaceflight and robotic missions. Debris that orbits at around 15,700 mph can still have the potential to hit a spacecraft.
The accumulation of space junk in Earth’s orbit has been increasing exponentially since 1957, reports The Salt Lake Tribune. All this debris poses a threat to space operations and is predicted to grow without change unless we take legislative action against the phenomenon.
According to Abbott, most of the junk is spinning. “If you try to stop it with a robotic arm, you’re going to break the arm and create more debris.”
The Trump administration has put together a plan for managing space debris. They suggest less damaging spacecraft designs to keep things in orbit. It is also recommended to improve how the U.S. tracks and characterizes space junk, urging solutions to remove space debris and repurpose it productively.
Still, it’s not clear whether Earth could eventually host rings like those of Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune. Experts told The Hill.
A company in Japan has started building a prototype spacecraft to test the idea of using satellites to remove debris from Earth’s orbit.