Beach Myrtle Beach, Dr Alice, Flinders University discussed on The Atlas Obscura Podcast
Because we're talking about where space stuff goes after it dies after ray now it's safe to say that were already for a getaway and if you're going to go on vacation somewhere then make it a place you'll feel at home like myrtle beach south carolina or as the people call it around there the beach. Welcome to sixty miles made for you. The beach myrtle beach plan your trip at visitmyrtlebeach dot com Since the launch of sputnik in nineteen fifty seven humans have been sending all sorts of things into space stuff like the serious eight and new satellite just launched by stitchers parent company or cargo space craft bringing supplies to space station's not to mention the most prising stuff like golden records or read tesla's an estimated thirty five thousand bits of Incentives right up to objects at the size of double decker buses up to of course international space station which is said to be the size of american football fields or five bedroom house. That's dr alice. Gorman associate professor at flinders university in south australia and one of the world's leading space archaeologists she studies all sorts of ways. Humans have engaged with space including these tens of thousands of objects rocketing around in earth orbit. And that's just stuff four inches and bigger there's believed to be millions of objects anything smaller than that. They distributed from lois little bit which is about two hundred kilometers above the surface of the us up to maybe about one thousand two thousand kilometers then. You have raged. That's just cold middle or medium business and then you get into. The high as obits. Miss includes Stationary orbit which is where bust of telecommunications satellites used to think of these orbits kind of like three lanes of a running track with satellites and spacecraft as the runners zipping around and around in their respective lanes. But note that for this analogy to work the track would be really really big and runners relatively teeny if we go out there and look at these might only say one object within your field. You so that impression. We have a stuff's closely packed together. Just together that's actually luck. Absolute worst case scenario. Which we're not at yet. There's growing concern about what will happen over. The next few decades as there are a lot of plans to launch way more stuff into orbit. And here's the thing. The vast vast majority of objects orbiting the planet is considered space junk. Something that doesn't currently have a purpose and doesn't have a purpose in the foreseeable future. Millions of tiny space debris like dust flex of paint from rocket a rogue toothbrush. A glove lost by astronaut. On a spacewalk there even some entire antique rocket bodies and defunct retro satellites from as early as the late fifties two experimental satellites koto deca poll one and decca paul to sometimes called porcupine one and two because they have seven foot antennas so they look like sections and then not working anymore that technically space jam. I cost quite loves him. Wind satellites like dudek apple one and two and many many other spacecraft from decades ago designed to go up the weren't really designed to come down and while it's cool they're up there all of these obsolete zipping around earth orbit can also be cause for concern they might lead to space collisions festival that can cause extensive spice crops. Stop working second of all every collision create small bits of debris whether those dust grains or large chunks. This is why they some coal space junk. Zombie satellites Like the after the electronic brains of the welcome satellites. the company controls. The dislike Today luckily there are few different ways to care for the bodies of dead space craft a lot of what lives in low earth orbit especially smaller. Satellites are guided down through kind of sudden cremation deliberately dragged into the atmosphere. Where the almost immediately burn up those in geostationary on that outer lane of the track fees a much quieter colder and to their lives. They're sent into the graveyard orbit over thirty six thousand kilometers up over twenty two thousand miles above the earth's surface. The has been convention that when a pesco gets to the end of its live enough you'll be left in it to push it higher into the graveyard obits or it'll be out of the way the satellite.