Before humans first started sending objects into Earth orbit, the pocket of space around our planet was clear and clean. But the launch of Sputnik 1 in October of 1957 changed everything. Since then, the space debris has been accumulating, with the amount of useless, defunct satellites vastly outnumbering the operational objects in our orbit.
A new annual report from the European Space Agency (ESA) has found that while we have become aware of the problem and taken steps in recent years to mitigate it, those steps are currently not keeping up with the sheer scale of space junk.
All spacefaring nations have contributed to the problem, which is significant: as more and more defunct objects populate near-Earth space, the risk of collision rises – which, as objects crash and shatter, produces even more space debris.
The hazards have been prominent in the last year. We have not only watched
A defunct Russian satellite and a spent Chinese rocket just floating around high over Earth could smash into each other within a few days, potentially creating a big mess in orbit with potentially dire long-term consequences.
LeoLabs, which tracks space debris, put out the alert on Tuesday warning that the two large hunks of junk will come within 25 meters of each other and have up to a twenty percent chance of colliding Thursday evening.
That’s considered way too close for comfort by space standards. The two objects have a combined mass of 2,800 kilograms and if they were to smash into each other, the “conjunction” could create thousands of new pieces of space junk that would put actual functioning satellites at risk.
We’ve got one huge moon looming overhead and you might think “that’s enough moons.” But sometimes, Earth gets greedy and starts pulling in small asteroids for extended stays in orbit. The brief visitations by these “mini-moons” are fairly rare, with only two confirmed so far. The most recent came on Feb. 15, when tiny rock 2020 CD3 was discovered by astronomers at the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey. The glorious mini-moon had been ensnared by the Earth’s gravity as early as 2015 and stayed with us until May 2020 before dashing off into the cosmos again.
But in the unprecedented year of 2020, astronomers have announced the detection of another potential mini-moon: 2020 SO.
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‘Junk Science’ and Roundup Verdicts Examined in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons
TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2020
TUCSON, Ariz., Sept. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — San Francisco juries have awarded up to $1 billion to persons claiming their cancer resulted from exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weedkiller Roundup™. In the fall issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, Paul Driessen, J.D., examines the evidence and the legal process in this case study of litigation that is destroying companies and technology.
Law firms are still soliciting clients for lawsuits in which cumulative awards could reach trillions of dollars, Driessen writes.
Introduced in 1974, glyphosate is the world’s most widely used herbicide, he notes. Millions of homeowners, gardeners, and farmers use it regularly to kill weeds. Countless farmers employ it with “Roundup-Ready” corn, soybeans, cotton, and