Space around the earth will soon be too full for space travel

It seems almost unimaginable, yet the space becomes overcrowded. So crowded that space travel will become difficult or even impossible in the near future. There are too many objects floating in space around our planet.

There is a so-called Kessler syndrome. As far back as 1978, NASA scientist Donald Kessler predicted a potentially catastrophic chain reaction could arise in space. In his theory, the space around the Earth is so polluted and full of both active satellites and old space clutter that space travel is becoming increasingly difficult, if not impossible.

No room for space travel

The CEO of the Rocket Lab startup, Peter Beck, spoke up 42 years after Kessler came up with his theory. Due to the amount of objects floating in space, it is difficult to find a route in which rockets can enter space without hindrance. Partly thanks to SpaceX’s new internet satellites, there is almost no path left.

As a result, the rockets that are launched have to maneuver between the satellites while swinging. “This has huge effects on launches,” Beck said CNN. It is partly because there is no regulation in space. Where on earth we have neat national borders with our own rules and mutual agreements, the space in that area is still unexplored territory. The last agreements on this were made fifty years ago.

Unguided projectiles

SpaceX is one of the biggest culprits at the moment. Elon Musk’s company has rapidly sent 700 satellites into space for the Starlink system, consisting of Internet satellites. It is the largest satellite constellation, and SpaceX is far from finished. The company wants to eventually have 12,000 to 40,000 of the machines orbit the earth.

There is also space waste. Together with the satellites and various missiles, this can cause a huge chain reaction. If two objects collide with each other at high speed, they will shoot into a different orbit. Then there is a chance that both objects collide with other objects, until numerous objects shoot through space at high speed. A space full of unguided missiles could make new space travel enormously difficult.

Also read: Elon Musk wants a rocket to Mars every three days

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Space around the earth will soon be too full for space travel