The Allure of Science: Like the seas and oceans, space must also be protected from pollution by our waste

The Allure of Science: Like the seas and oceans, space must also be protected from pollution by our waste

In the journal Science, an international group of scientists has published an appeal demanding that space be protected from the trash orbiting Earth. We need, they say, a global treaty in the wake of the just-signed treaty to protect the seas and oceans.


When it was in 1865 Joule Vern He was giving it to the press “From the Earth to the moon”I Travel to the universe And it was all off wild frontier They remained a thing Fictiondeserve Novels Not real everyday life. a dream.

Then they got there technologythe Sciencesthe space race. We were led by the desire to know and push ourselves a little bit further Walking on the moon with the Apollo missions he’s at Walk on Mars With a remote controlled home rover.

For decades we have been doing this Also expand up space and planets They have become tangible dreams and areas for exploration and investment.

And as it has always happened in human history, we are done with it Our skies are also polluted. a result Maybe inevitable but It certainly cannot be cured.

For years, a “cloud” of space debris generated by our debris has been circling the Earth space missions Which is growing more and more every day. Satellites old and unusable, rockets no longer work, crumbs And materials less than ten centimeters in size: after that 6500 tons of debris floating over our heads.

Today, then on the reputable pages of Sciences An international group of scientists published a The sincere message to ask about Space protection From the waste circling the earth comes to mind the masterpiece of the great French writer, with a paraphrased title: From sea to space.

Indeed, in the wake of the recent global agreement to protect the seas and oceans, many women and scientists are convinced that today we urgently need a binding global treaty to protect space from the waste that pollutes it.

The parallel with the emergence of plastics in the sea is subtle and representative a warning. peek on future that we may encounter if we continue to treat heaven as we have done seaany file conversion An invaluable resource in Foolish To clean.

“I’ve spent most of my career working onAccumulation of plastic waste inmarine environmentThe damage it can cause and potential solutions. It is very clear that Much of the pollution we see today could have been avoided – explained Richard ThompsonMarine biologist, University of Plymouth. We were Well aware of the problem from plastic pollution ten years ago And if we act, it could be the amount of plastic in our oceans there half from the current. Moving forward, we have to take a tough stance more proactive To help protect the future of our planet. There is a lot you can learn from them Mistakes were made in our oceans related to the accumulation of debris in space.”

Words from Professor Thompson It shouldn’t surprise youthe. Indeed, among the signatories to the letter that appeared in the journal Science, there are not only experts and technicians in space technology NASA. The scholars who persuaded them also collaborated in its formulation 170 world leaders Commit to drafting a global treaty on plastics at the United Nations Assembly.

This is instead the titanium engine casing, weighing almost 70 kg, from the third stage of the American Delta-2 missile, which fell in 2001 in Saudi Arabia. Image source: NASA

In short, a symptom that waste matter in space is A global emergency It is not a specialist concern of scientists. Especially if the predictions of scientists are correct and by 2030 we will have more than 60 thousand satellites In orbit vs. approx 9 thousand today.

We’ve told you about the dangers associated with space debris. more than The people who live on Earththere are concerns about the usability of the space by future generations And for safety missions In universe, they are often forced to Dangerous avoidance maneuvers objects floating in space.

This is why scientists are calling for one International legislation to activate measures mitigationWaste of space and implementation responsible to manufacturers and users of satellites and debris from the time of launch and throughout their lives. and that’s me commercial costs They are also taken into account when looking for ways to incentivize accountability.

Considerations that, as you can understand, are Fixed With current proposals being developed to address ocean plastic pollution.

to avoid falling into space same mistakes Committed to the oceans for decades, according to scientists, we need a real one International cooperationbacked by science, to put in place a legally binding treaty in time to help protect Earth’s orbit.

Only if we keep space Cleaning We will be able to continue to make progress in space exploration, in the use of satellites and in the development of space technologies: all innovations that, you know, They changed our lives.

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