Space junk becomes more from year to year
. Various companies send both general-use and secret systems into orbit (this is especially true for military countries with space technologies), and the frequency of launching launch vehicles with this kind of cargo gradually increases.
True, the main problem is not new satellites, but old, no longer operating vehicles and their fragments. Not so long ago, NASA scientists estimated
that a third of all space debris in orbit was obtained as a result of 10 different missions with emergency situations in space. The maximum number of debris happened with the destruction of the Fengyun-1C
spacecraft by the Chinese. China, as reported, has developed a technology for remote destruction of satellites orbiting the Earth.
The results were not long in coming - in 2016 a small piece of space debris got
into the ISS (as experts said, it could be a peeled-off fragment of paint or metal). The size of the debris was no more than a few thousandths of a millimeter. It is terrible to think what will happen if a larger object enters the ISS. According to the
European Space Agency, any fragment with a diameter of more than 10 cm can "smash a satellite or a spacecraft into pieces."
In order to successfully launch spacecraft and satellites, countries with relevant technologies and capabilities keep records of debris. Scientists from Russia, the USA, Europe and Asia are engaged in this. But each country has its own account, its own directory. Yes, states and scientific organizations are sharing data, but this is not enough, because the information is fragmented. Therefore, now at the interstate level, negotiations are underway to create a single unified registry on the state in near-Earth space, as reported
If we were able to carry out our plans and create a catalog of all such objects, this would significantly reduce the risk of dangerous debris converging with systems operating in orbit. “In the near future, data exchange with all the leading space agencies of the world may be proposed in order to create an international system for the exchange of information on the state of near-Earth space,” Roskosmos reported.
The main near-earth space monitoring systems operate in the United States and Russia. At the same time, the information of the American system is open for public access (although, for obvious reasons, the Americans do not provide data on their military facilities). Russia does not publish such data. But perhaps this will be done in the future. “If there is a desire, then it is necessary, of course, to open access to this data. This could be useful. There is no subject for conversation. The intersection rate of the Russian and American systems can be over 90%, ”said Ivan Moiseev, scientific director of the Space Policy Institute.
True, it is not very fast. Above the creation of the third phase of the domestic automated warning system for dangerous situations in orbit, work will begin only by 2025. During this phase, new and modified previous models of optoelectronic facilities will be introduced into the Russian system, as well as improved software and hardware systems and specialized software.
If a general catalog of space debris is created, then it will be possible to talk about the implementation of the system for disposal of dangerous objects from the Earth’s orbit using a specialized spacecraft. A part of this project could be a system for measuring the parameters of relative motion (SAPOD). It provides docking with space objects. Its developer is the Scientific Research Institute of Precision Instruments JSC.
At the end of 2016, experts from different countries counted more than 17 thousand objects, of which only 1.3 thousand are operating vehicles, and all the rest is space debris. The total mass of objects in orbit reaches 7 thousand tons.
Unfortunately, we are not talking about the elimination of garbage in the near future. Scientists from different countries offer various ways to rid the Earth of this problem. But all such projects are either very expensive, or they cannot be implemented right now due to the lack of appropriate technologies. I would like to hope that the joint efforts of specialists from different countries will help to get closer to solving this problem.