Saturday, September 24, 2011

UARS Satellite has come in

According to NASA it entered the earth atmosphere around 11:23 last night and probably crashed into the Pacific Ocean. I wonder how many fish and mammals were hurt with the debris and was there anything toxic on board. I think NASA needs to take responsibility over this kind of situation so it never happens again. Perhaps explosives that can be remotely activated so a satellite can be destroyed before it can come in one big chunk. Another idea is for the defective vehicle to be netted up and retransported back to the earth. I wonder why that could not have happened. I assume because it was in a too of a low orbit and it was like trying to catch a butterfly with unwieldy instruments. That is why my first alternative sounds like a better idea.

Frankly, I don't know about you, but I sure did not like the idea of that UAR satellite crashing into the earth and only having our crossed fingers, some telescopes, and instrumentation to tell us about it. It seems pretty irresponsible of NASA to shoot something out into space and then not take responsibility for disposing of it. It was their trash after all. Back home if we throw something out on the street and do not throw it away properly we get fined. I think legislation should be put into place globally that those governments that put objects into space should have a plan of how to safely dispose of such objects if they become defective and can no longer function correctly. In fact, I understand there is a lot of trash floating around in the upper atmosphere that needs to be cleaned up because it poses a danger to those orbiting space. Just like we go out and clean our beaches, there should be a mission to clean out the trash out there.

As teenagers out there say, "I'm just saying."

2 comments:

Rosangela Canino-Koning said...

The satellite was probably the size of a car, or maybe the size of a fridge. The chances of it hurting something when it hit were pretty minimal.

The problem of space junk is significant, but believe me, there's no easy way to handle it. NASA is extremely responsible about these things, and if they could have done something, anything, about it, they would have.

The explosive idea sounds good on the surface, but think about it. Would you risk the lives of anyone transporting explosives into space just for the very remote possibility that something like this could happen?

Most satellites, when they are at the end of their lives are directed into appropriate orbits where they will burn up in the atmosphere, not leaving anything to actually hit the ground. The UARS satellite was a very, very unusual case.

Elba said...

Excellent comment, but the explosives idea is only an idea,,. but having a plan B should be developed. It doesn't have to explode but at a touch of a button it could detach and not come into the atmosphere as a big mass but in smaller parts that could more easily disintegrate. From what I read there is a lot of space "trash" floating around and it even poses a danger for those on the International Space Station.

I appreciate your comments, Rosangela.