Since the launch of the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1 in 1957 by the Soviet Union, we sent into space a huge number of objects, including satellites. Not to mention that these satellites are put into orbit using tons of materials that become only debris (engine, launcher, tank,…), take for example the cover image for this article, she represents all of the debris from launchers Ariane generation combined.

Below we have the remains of the SYLDA, present systems rocket Ariane 5 (SYLDA for system of launch Double Ariane, allowing to put 2 satellites in a rocket):


This representation is just one example as “Ariane” it speaks more or less everyone. Now here is the full (or almost) of space debris left by humans in space (the first image is a view away and the second much more close to the ground for better you account):



If you prefer video animations, it is also possible to see the evolution of the appearance of its human debris of 1957 (Sputnik 1) to our days (2016):

These two excellent projects were implemented using data provided by the website Space –
_The first – having allowed me to make the screenshots – is the Web site by James Yoder.
_The second is a video animation by Stuart Grey.

There are so about 41,000 items sent by humans into space with less than 10% are in activities, others are just debris.

Why is what I talking about this? Well because this size starts to become a serious problem for our operations in space. Indeed these tens of thousands of debris can every moment hitting an indeed operational unit and damaged it severely see destroy it, and that fact a little while I worried the principals: NASA or ESA for example, who have both already implemented the recommendations and future projects.

Currently, some things are recommended by space agencies concerning the launch of rockets:

The path is calculated so that after the separation the floors of the rocket falls in an area devoid of homes, but these tips are not always respected (by China or Russia especially) and some components become systematically debris (rocket or cap of a launcher).

When in future projects, there are CleanSpace led by ESA (European Space Agency) and comprising 3 subprojects with them – even a little different objectives:

• Eco-design

EcoDesign to aim to resolve the problem before it doesn’t show up by working on various points:
_Etablir a model “Eco-design” with companies of the space sector
_Developper of ecological technologies for space missions (e.g. fuel)
_Developper of environmental technologies for space equipment
_Travailler on the atmospheric impact of launchers

• CleanSat

This project focuses on the cleanup of debris found in the most sensitive areas for equipment in markets and therefore turns to the cleaning of the low and geostationary orbits. where are concentrated the satellites.

• e.Deorbit

This part of the program to designed to send devices to the households out of their orbits of debris and in leaders to earth so that they fall apart in the atmosphere. Another approach is to equip satellites systems to get out them of their orbits, even end-of-life, not used or damaged.

In addition to the measures that I ais decry previously on the home in atmospheres of the maximum of possible debris during a launch, there is also the private company SpaceX which work since 2005 on a launch vehicle called Falcon 9 and with the ambition to reduce the costs of the satellite launches in – among others – recovery parts of the floors of the Launcher.


Don’t forget the links below if you’re curious!

Sources & add-ins: _ (Astronautics) #Retomb.C3.A9e_et_r.C3. A9cup.C3.A9ration _ (Astronautics)

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