Elon Musk says that his SpaceX Starship will be able to "chomp up" space junk using its moving fairing door.
SpaceX Has a Solution for Space Debris
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk recently replied to a tweet asking him about how to eventually collect all the surrounding space debris that would otherwise hinder future space business.
The question came from Twitter handle @REQNews on Sunday, July 4.
The fairing door is able to open by itself when reaching a certain orbit, which then a spacecraft can deploy itself. The fairing door can close right before the Starship comes back down to Earth as confirmed by the SpaceX users' guide about the rocket system.
SpaceX president, Gwynne Shotwell, also said that the Starship has the capabilities to pick up space junk that is currently orbiting our planet.
The said debris can be stored back into the Starship's cargo bay until safely reaching back to Earth.
Time Magazine interviewed Shotwell in October about the same issue and she said, "It's not going to be easy, but I do believe Starship offers the possibility of going and doing that."
Why Space Debris is Getting More Dangerous
Space experts told Insider that SpaceX has taken over Earth's lower orbit with its vast armada of Starlink satellites.
The 1,657 satellites around the lower orbit created a very real threat of space-traffic collision. They also said that this will further escalate in danger and severity if SpaceX continues to plan its 42,000 satellites by 2027.
The European Space Agency or ESA has created a report about the dangers of space junk in May saying that there is now more space debris than operational satellites in our orbit.
The summary of the report stated that the current behaviour of our species in regards to space is "unsustainable."
If companies and agencies don't change their behavior towards space faring missions, then it's just a matter of time before we can be able to operate in that theater again unless we find a sustainable solution.
Just How Many Space Junks Are Out There?
ESA has come up with an estimated number of space junk orbiting our planet which was last updated in May 2021.
The number is a staggering 128 million objects greater than 1 mm to 1 cm. Next would be nine million objects greater than 1 cm to 10 cm. The last and most dangerous numbers are 34,000 objects that are said to be greater than 10cm.
Since our space age began in 1957, there were a number of missions and tests that led our inventions to space.
There have been 6,060 rocket launches, 11,670 satellites that were launched to space, and about 7,200 still up there, and 4,300 are operational up to this day.
As of this writing, Space Surveillance Networks are only able to track a fraction of space junk orbiting our planet estimated to be just over 28,600 debris out of the hundreds of millions out in space.
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Written by Alec G.