Academic journal article Science Scope

Space Junk

Academic journal article Science Scope

Space Junk

Article excerpt

Space Junk

By Karen Romano Young. $33.32. 64 pp. Twenty-First Century Books. Frederick, MD. 2016. ISBN: 9781467756006.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Lottie Williams of Oklahoma is the first and only person to be hit with falling space junk, debris that orbits the Earth. However, if the current trend continues, we all may be looking up more often.

This book provides a concise history of the human race's cosmic pollution and reviews the methods that current researchers are planning to use to clean up Earth's orbit before a scenario such as the one seen in the movie Gravity becomes a reality.

Space Junk outlines the causes of the amazing traffic jam that has the potential to stop our departure from Earth. The book states that since the late 1950s, more than 6,600 satellites have been launched into space. About 1,000 continue to function. The rest are still up there, colliding with each other to create small pieces of debris that can affect working spacecraft, the International Space Station (ISS), and astronauts out for a spacewalk. Although some zombie satellites (those that are no longer in service) may burn up upon re-entry, some pieces are too big to burn. The space stations Skylab and Mir are two examples of school bus-sized debris that made it to the ground.

The first chapter outlines the source of the problem of junk in orbit and junk left on other planets and the Moon. …

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