The Insightful Troll

Rants and ruminations.

The Junk Up There

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Space junk

From the editors of Scientific American:

Space should not be a garbage dump. Nevertheless, we have treated the sky as a wrecker’s yard for more than half a century, and the amount of space junk orbiting Earth has skyrocketed in recent years. Now filled with the decaying hulks of defunct rockets and satellites, our polluted orbital environment is becoming more crowded by the day, threatening the growing space economy. It’s time for nations—and the billionaires commoditizing space—to clean up Earth’s near orbit.


The laws governing satellite orbits were written during the cold war in the mid to late 20th century, at a time when only a few governments operated only a few satellites. We live in a new era of private space exploration, one that is more extractive and invasive than before, with many nations and companies participating. We need better rules to keep us from trashing Earth’s orbit as badly as we have trashed Earth itself.

The private companies and governments must be forced to pay for clean up and maintenance of our Earth orbit resources. To suggest that companies and the billionaires that run them will simply regulate themselves and do the right thing is insanity. Just look how well it has worked for Earth’s climate so far.