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Space Waste

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Space waste, space junk or orbital debris, has become a serious issue.

It includes spent rocket stages, dust from solid rocket motors, unused satellites and other man made fragments. All such waste poses a collision threat with operational spacecraft or even crashing back to Earth.

Space junk fragments were not originally perceived as a problem, scientists wrongly predicted that the debris would just burn itself up as it returned through the earth’s atmosphere.

Now ground based lasers, ” laser brooms “, are to be deployed to target this space junk, breaking it into very small pieces or even sweeping it out of the path of functional orbital traffic.

Words

junk: old things considered as of no value anymore, waste.
junk in other languages

orbit (adj. orbital): the curved path, usually elliptical, made by planets, sattelites, spacecrafts around larger objects such as Earth, the sun, etc…
orbit in other languages

debris: the remains of something which was destroyed or broken down.
debris in other languages

to burn up: to be completely destroyed by heat (e.g. objects entering the earth’s atmosphere).
burn up in other languages

Read by John Edwin Skelton.