The main topic of discussion when it comes to space is always revolving around the number of spacecraft, satellites, or rockets fired into space or it is discussed that astronauts are finding new ways to survive up there. However, what rarely makes as a topic of space discussion is the issue of too many objects flying around in space and how can it be hazardous for the planets.
With more advanced technology and investments in space adventures, space is now teeming with all these objects that have been sent there. The point of concern is that these objects are always coming in and there is no limit defined that can restrict their incoming.
Approximately, more than 29000 of these objects are orbiting the earth. SpaceX is said to have sent almost 1700 of these satellites there as part of their Starlink project in the past 2 years. The European Space Agency’s operations center in Darmstadt, Germany controls key research of spacecraft. They receive hundreds of emails every day that warn them about a possible clash of these objects floating around in space.
In May, NASA had noticed a 5 mm hole in one of the robotic arms of the International Space Station that suggests the occurrence of a collision. This shows how significant it is to control and manage the flow of these objects before massive destruction takes place.
It is not an easy task to manage the flow as it is not exactly like air traffic. There are no delineated boundaries or a complete count of objects. Space-Track.org by the US Space Command, a branch of the military has the record of satellites, but the data is incomplete due to the presence of some unrecognized satellites by countries including the US and China. hence, management becomes difficult.
If this catalog is given to civilian hands, it can create geopolitical tensions and worsen the situation. On 25th August, the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space will sit to discuss this issue and find a practical solution. Nevertheless, a global solution is required and on an urgent basis.