While Luca V. was away in Exmouth, he wrote this article about Space Junk to publish as a journalist. He went to the Harold E. Holt Naval Base in Exmouth where they have a space telescope and this is what he found out…
You might know some messy people who leave rubbish behind, but did you know that there is also lots of rubbish left in space? It is called space junk and it is a major problem.
Last year it was thought that there were more than 300 000 items of space junk orbiting Earth. This includes old satellites, burnt out rocket stages, lost tools from spacewalks and specks of paint and dust. Because the junk is travelling at hypersonic speeds, even the tiniest paint specks can cause damage like bullets when they collide with satellites and the International Space Station (ISS).
Scientists are working on ways to clean up space junk. In the meantime, a Space Surveillance Telescope (SST) and a C-band radar was installed at the Harold E. Holt Naval Base in Exmouth, Western Australia. It can detect where the space junk is and it will alert satellite operators and spacecraft so they can move to avoid collisions.
When I was visiting my uncle’s bowling alley near the SST, I saw the SST moving – scanning the skies. It moved faster than I expected. It’s really tall and skinny and looks like it’s reaching into the clouds.
Very interesting information, Luca! We will have to watch the news to see what happens here. Mrs Veary 🙂