Are We Running Out of Space Above Earth?

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PBS Space Time

PBS Space Time

Yıl önce

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While recent news about the Chinese Long March 5 Rocket made a lot of people very nervous because a 22-ton rocket was going to fall out of the sky, this sort of thing happens all the time. Boosters, dead satellites, and sometimes even old space stations get dropped out of the sky fairly often. While the litter seems a little inconsiderate, this is probably far safer than the alternative. The accumulation of space junk poses a huge risk to all human operations in space especially if we cross the threshold into the chain reaction of exponentially growing collisions known as the Kessler Syndrome.

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Jim Murphy
Jim Murphy Yıl önce
I did a high school report on this back in 1979... We all had to pick a type of pollution to report on. Mine was space junk. At the time, many kids, and the teacher chuckled as they thought I was a bit crazy. This is not new news.
Eddie Noragong
Eddie Noragong 5 aylar önce
Hi Jim, they always laughed to me too, in 2022 they're still laughing.
Test Test
Test Test 6 aylar önce
@Northside904 The troubles in Ireland were ended by two governments coming to an agreement. The cold war never went hot because two governments managed to restrain themselves. Taxes are routinely collected in many countries across the world and the funds used to run services from health to education to armed forces. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying everything governments do is good, or competent, or sensible. But to assert that governments have never done anything of value is just stupid. Do you not see roads? Bridges? An environment where you are unlikely to be kidnapped and enslaved by your neibour? Governments can do good and governments can do bad. A lack of government can do nothing.
Northside904 6 aylar önce
@Test Test imagine believing a world government would solve something, when has government solved anything on a mass scale
petejammo88 6 aylar önce
@Anonym Ous it’s the moral issue space isn’t ours to pollute
weiniesail Yıl önce
For once, a PBS ST episode I understood from beginning to end!
Semaj_502 5 aylar önce
After watching some of the more in-depth, theory heavy videos I like to search out a nice, simple one to give my brain a break before diving back in. So now I'm here. Lol Always have to give Spacetime eps more than one watch to grasp everything I'm capable of grasping.
Papa John
Papa John 6 aylar önce
on god
Truoksnis 6 aylar önce
It was pretty down to Earth wasn't it
Ralphy Ralph.
Ralphy Ralph. 6 aylar önce
Glad basic elementary English is understanding to you... Keep up the good work.
Ted Tedstone
Ted Tedstone 6 aylar önce
Well, it's nonsense, so...
Smoke 003723
Smoke 003723 Yıl önce
In Mass Effect, if you visit Earth they warn you to keep your spaceship's shields up because the sheer volume of orbital debris makes it dangerous for traffic.
DanDeMan 2 aylar önce
Lol mass effect predicted it
Ted Tedstone
Ted Tedstone 6 aylar önce
Propaganda in a video game is nothing new.
Elon Simp
Elon Simp 9 aylar önce
@DT Strain like your birth?
@Elder74 because it's a problem we can't see and not it's well know. Just like the climate change in the 90 and Early 2000s. And I would rather have a calm reaction rather that a mob reaction, like the climate change movement today
Elder74 Yıl önce
Why is everyone so calm about this subject?
katalysis Yıl önce
Nice to know that everywhere humans touch, exponentially rising levels of junk inevitably follow.
ryan domke
ryan domke 6 aylar önce
Look we are a young civilization we are still learning, I bet when the pilgrims landed on the Americas they left behind a lot of garbage and debris and today? this is the beginning of us using space to benefit us, we are still learning so of course we are going to have lots a failure same as the pilgrims or any great pioneers in history
Ted Tedstone
Ted Tedstone 6 aylar önce
And rising levels of housing, and food production, and conveniences. Like the device you are on right now.
boaconstrictor37 7 aylar önce
@ziglaus I’m not concerned about anything we can currently reach, they’re either airless rocks or gas giants. My concern is tech that eventually could gets us to an earth like planet where we fumble around and wreck another ecosystem. Based on current data there’s not a single place on this planet that benefited from human interaction. World was better before us and it’ll be better when we’re gone.
ziglaus 7 aylar önce
@boaconstrictor37 rofl, why? They are quite literally empty useless planets. Human interaction is, by current data, their best chance of seeing life, activity, change.
VcSaJen 7 aylar önce
To be fair, most of space junk are from accidents, not from indifference.
Special Guest Star
Special Guest Star Yıl önce
So to solve this we need a vacuum cleaner. Literally.
DanDeMan 2 aylar önce
@Matias Ķ MMMMM
winkipinky 8 aylar önce
Until that vaccum cleaner gets hit by space junk and becomes more space junk itself.
Wong Tong
Wong Tong 11 aylar önce
@Zarko Spasojevic Good lookin out ✊🏻
Wong Tong
Wong Tong 11 aylar önce
@Zarko Spasojevic I get it now. 😂🤦🏼‍♂️
Frederf Yıl önce
Remember there is no part of an exponential curve where it goes from slow growth to fast growth objectively. Where e^x gets steep on a graph visually all depends on your choice of axes scales (i.e. their ratio). The "45° slope" part of the graph can be anywhere if you're free to choose scale. I propose that all satellites have a banana cream pie on the front so if they hit it will at least be funny.
zac fyt
zac fyt Yıl önce
@ulf schack lazy acceleration at low exponential growth is still acceleration, it is like derping in a speedrun (eventhought it is not intention to "speed the run" cause it plays itself), in conclusion Kessler FX is the best idle game we can all play (and do currently) with no need of internet but generating it as it primary resource... sleep on it, develop it and share the link with me :'V
ulf schack
ulf schack Yıl önce
But also remember that one of the definitions of e-to-the-x is that the slope eaquals the function itself, so growth does accelerate, objectively
Fred Planatia
Fred Planatia Yıl önce
The point is that the growth rate is proportional to the number of cases (in this case collisions making new objects that can themselves collide) but our perceptions don't register the exponential growth when the rate is still low.
KRY MauL Yıl önce
I mean technically e to e^3 is pretty small, but once it hits 4th or high power it starts accelerating faster. This can be scene in the Taylor series x^j/j! for e
harys_john Yıl önce
It kind of sounds like zombies, how if a satellite gets hit by space debris, it becomes space debris. I wonder if any satellites will start hiding the fact that they've been hit?
Solowarrior1221 8 aylar önce
To me it sounds like a nuclear chain reaction where a neutron hits a fissile atom which releases more neutrons and so on and so on until... kaboom.
winkipinky 8 aylar önce
I guess they would need to be conscious first in order to tell us anything don't you think 😉 and would they be speaking in English or chinese?
SLipeNNN Yıl önce
@TruKave the sats are up to something
TruKave Yıl önce
@SLipeNNN satellites are primarily known for being in orbit, but that’s just because of how deceptive they are
MarxistKnight Yıl önce
Governments after Covid: “Wow, we should really start paying attention to scientists, they were right all along.” Scientists: “The amount of space junk in orbit is becoming critical and could be catastrophic for our technological society. We should do something about it.” Governments: “Oh, sounds serious. Anyway…”
Libtards got Trumped
Libtards got Trumped 7 aylar önce
@Unknown sure they did
jorgepeterbarton Yıl önce
"A meteoroid is heading for earth" -"uh. I think one may be trying to take attention away from the important thing here brexit brexit brexit etc. Lets get brexit do----(giant explosions)"
Bryan Hensley
Bryan Hensley Yıl önce
Really??? The so called scientist said we would have over 3,800 dead here in my local area. We had 117 die. Yeah those scientist are SOOO SMART. NOT
Victor Rice
Victor Rice Yıl önce
One of the brilliant things that Kessler did was borrow some physics from the kinetic theory of gases to predict collision rates between satellites. Instead of treating orbits in the way we typically do (i.e. singular location with a nice keplerian ellipse plotted out), he instead took the long term volume of space that an object would occupy and handled each object as a spatial density value. Due to the oblateness of the earth putting torques on orbits, the line of apsides (line connecting lowest point and highest point in the orbit) and the ascending node both rotate over time, therefore you can think of this volume of space the orbit occupies as something like a spherical shell with the top and bottom cut off, with the thickness being defined by the apogee/perigee altitudes and the amount of remaining upper and lower shell being defined by the inclination (and therefore max/min latitudes). Once you've parameterized the spatial densities by radial distance and latitude for each object, you can perform a numerical integration of all objects spatial densities through a particular orbit of interest (i.e. for the satellite you are interested in protecting) to calculate a flux value. This flux can be used to determine the likelihood of collisions with other objects (assuming no mitigation strategies employed). This essentially comes out in units of "interactions/area/time", and by making assumptions about the size of a satellite, allows you to estimate how often you might be experiencing a collision for different orbits. Very awesome and out of the box thinking, with one of his original applications of these techniques being used to calculate collision rate expectations between Jupiter's Moons!
That Haslage
That Haslage Yıl önce
Does the gravity of the Moon affect the density of the atmosphere at different altitudes on that side of the planet? Or maybe even cause a "tidal" like force causing waves in the atmosphere like our oceans?
winkipinky 8 aylar önce
dekalabia Yıl önce
I first learned of the Kessler syndrome thanks to manga called "Planetes" by Makoto Yukimura, and an adaption with the same title. This story was a contemporary hard sci-fi that depicted the threat of space debris and how commercial space corporations would deal with said problem. And like all corporate manner of cleaning after their industrial/commercial waste, they allocate a miniscule budget to their waste retrieval sector. Said sector is the setting, a crew of company misfits given the task to wipe after the corporate "ass". The author had a pet hobby of plotting out human development in space in spans of several hundred to thousands of years. One of his editor took notice of this hobby and asked him to create a story out of it, which he took a slice out of the selfmade timeline was this, a story revolving around space debris. That in itself is crazy, but now the same author is depicting a historical retelling of vikings reaching the Americas. Makoto Yukimura is quite frankly a genius.
BoDiggety 7 aylar önce
Thanks for the recommendation. I’m putting it on my watch list.
lies damnlies
lies damnlies Yıl önce
Well, if the pandemic taught us anything, it's that people in general can't grasp exponential growth and its implications. I don't have much hope on this one.
@lies damnlies just make it political and it will blast off
Paulo Martins
Paulo Martins Yıl önce
@balijosu oooof level Lacedemonicae
balijosu Yıl önce
TVChannel One
TVChannel One Yıl önce
Big business is keen to make a profit from both the pandemic and the space junk problem, so not to worry! :D
n00 dles
n00 dles Yıl önce
What’s sad is that just one collision creates several hundred thousand problems. Hence the exponential nature I guess. What a serious issue
n00 dles
n00 dles 11 aylar önce
@ayang tayeng how so? you seem to be the outlier and offered no information. It’s clearly an exponential growth..
Bryan Hensley
Bryan Hensley Yıl önce
@John Bennett global warming is a myth. I have worked in the HVAC field for over 40 years. I definitely remember the 100 degree plus summers in the 1980s and 1990s. However since 2002 we have had 3 summer that topped 100. Since 2015 we've had none. Did that register in your brain?. NONE. Global warming is a money making scheme. News flash, USA used to be under an ice "cap". Also study the climate on earth the last time it had no ice caps. The weather was much nicer than now worldwide. Also show me a list of the scientist that claim global warming. I'm waiting. Tic Tok tic Tok. What we need to be studying is why humans are so easily brainwashed.
This Guy
This Guy Yıl önce
@Bob Woodward the population is going to top out and start to decline again within the next 100 years as birth rates decline and more people have reproduction issues
John Bennett
John Bennett Yıl önce
@Bob Woodward while there is a correlation between the two, the two biggest contributors to global warming (US & China) both have low population growth rates. So linking the problems is distracting from the most important issues for climate change.
Phil Yıl önce
Thank you for making this video! You answered a question I had since hearing about the ISS incident in a very clear way. Keep up the great work!
Bane Yıl önce
Please don't ever change the PBS spacetime music. It definitely sets the tone of being lectured. Definitely my favorite TRshow channel. I try to share to others as much as possible.
Delorian Janussen
Delorian Janussen Yıl önce
Question: Some time in the future, when we will have built a space station in the intergalactic void, two twins will each embark on their spaceships. They agree to each take a round trip in opposite directions to each other of the same amount of several light years, akin to both of them painting half of a figure 8 in space. Thanks to their incredible advances in technology they pretty much instantly accelerate to 99% of light speed relative to the space station. Which twin will be the older one upon return to the space station if the observer a) remains on the space station, b) joins the twin to the left and c) joins the twin to the right?
JJJ J Yıl önce
While reading Neil de Grasse Tyson's book "Astrophysics for People in a Hurry" I found and got hooked on this channel. Not always easy to grasp these concepts but I'm trying.
sess Yıl önce
we're going to slowly build a Dyson Sphere around the earth.
jorgepeterbarton Yıl önce
@Wizzy No 1 using a hoover in a vaccuum. Seems legit.
jorgepeterbarton Yıl önce
@Calvin North he is only busy making most the space junk first
Mert Koçoğulları
Mert Koçoğulları Yıl önce
@Evil Flanker you have gravity wells as vacuum cleaners of space, if your vacuum cleaner is big enough it can still work.
808 Big Island
808 Big Island Yıl önce
Looks like dump down here, dump up there is the consequence of the invasion of the humanoids. It was a mistake to let the beasts of burden into our living room.
zac fyt
zac fyt Yıl önce
@JDM Jesus errr doesnt swarms work in hive mind mostly? unless you meant the 40k satelite n beyond
Ein Fisch
Ein Fisch Yıl önce
"...or we could take more care right now." This was a joke so funny it made me really sad. We don't do anything down here on earth until it becomes an unavoidable and completely catastrophic problem.
Oliver Grumitt
Oliver Grumitt 9 aylar önce
It is simple to explain why we spend money on space - it brings so many benefits, though unfortunately people like JJ Evans do not seem to realize that. Anyway, the money spent on space were it to be redirected would most likely go to the military, whose budget makes NASA’s budget very small in comparison - 22 billion dollars is spent annually on NASA, while the military budget annually is over 700 billion - making NASA’s budget only about 3 percent of the military budget.
JJ Evans
JJ Evans Yıl önce
@D Gary Grady If you are though, can I join lol
JJ Evans
JJ Evans Yıl önce
@D Gary Grady I thought so lol. I'm just playing devils advocate. You had some good facts about NASA though. Cheers
D Gary Grady
D Gary Grady Yıl önce
@JJ Evans Hey Jeff, what makes you think I'm not one of the ones in control? Bwah-hah-hah.
Alister Puddifer
Alister Puddifer Yıl önce
Do you think that important satellites could benefit from some form of space shield? Like a separate craft that accompanies the satellite and is designed to collect or reflect small debris.
Ru Ru
Ru Ru Yıl önce
I appreciate how you added "claims" to everything discussed with respect to Spacex... this is Musk we're talking about here
American Virtual
American Virtual 7 aylar önce
@This Guy gracias
This Guy
This Guy 7 aylar önce
@American Virtual 42,000 and must be replaced pretty frequently
American Virtual
American Virtual Yıl önce
And Musk wants to add how many thousand operational satellites into orbit?
Ninkira Yıl önce
Gosh i love this channel so much. You try to cover a lot of different points about a subject in a timely manner, and the graphics and audio are honestly such a treat I'm forced to sit here and watch with my eyeballs and just enjoy and absorb. Thanks to everyone involved!!
kostis79 Yıl önce
More content on space technology, please! ❤️
AJ B Yıl önce
Last 5 seconds of a space time episode is always incredible. Excellent work PBS
TorToroPorco Yıl önce
Nice, this is great fodder for a sci-fi thriller plot that goes like this: Earth is threatened by a killer asteroid but a world wide effort to launch a series of interceptor gravity tugs / vector deflection space craft is threatened by the space junk cloud circling the earth.
Smoke 003723
Smoke 003723 Yıl önce
@Jannis Zimbalski Nor would I :)
Jannis Zimbalski
Jannis Zimbalski Yıl önce
@Smoke 003723 I wouldn't call an eternal night "saved".
Smoke 003723
Smoke 003723 Yıl önce
Then the asteroid hits the space debris and is shattered; Earth is saved at the cost of an eternal night.
TorToroPorco Yıl önce
@Patrick Donohoe Nice mashup! LOL
Patrick Donohoe
Patrick Donohoe Yıl önce
An Armageddon/Deep Impact cross over with Gravity. A post pandemic IMAX extravaganza? We'll call it The Kessler Code? Kessler's War? Can we get Clooney and Bruce Willis and Morgan Freeman?
Jeannie H
Jeannie H Yıl önce
Great video Matt. I thought Anton Petrov did a wonderful video on this subject as well. 💜
CyanMan2010 Yıl önce
Would love to see a video about possible solutions :)
kickuchiyo Yıl önce
Will you guys do a video on the dark energy survey dump? Great video as always :)
musashi939 Yıl önce
Haha. I guess Dr Becky was faster than PBS spacetime.
Sid Yıl önce
Wasn't there a method where we use powerful laser to adjust orbitals of junk to eventually have them exit Earth's Orbit (back to Earth or out to space)?
Daniel Bamberger
Daniel Bamberger Yıl önce
16:25 Don't worry. That joke isn't gone, thanks to the preservation of quantum information.
Dan Crane
Dan Crane Yıl önce
That joke is both gone, and not gone, at the same time.
Richard Boland
Richard Boland Yıl önce
@Peter the NWO Rabbit see what you did there 👏
David H
David H Yıl önce
So my thoughts on hydrazine is that it’s dangerous until it reacts to a lower energy energy molecules which should be rapid.
My Droid
My Droid Yıl önce
So if "a robotic arm" in space gets hit by debris, will we still be able to hear it say "Sorry!"?
Bryan Seigneur
Bryan Seigneur Yıl önce
I'm intrigued by the EM tether. I guess it comes down to whether the lack of fuel for that solution wins over whatever benefits ion [de-]orbital thrusters have.
Shawn Elliott
Shawn Elliott Yıl önce
Space junk is a problem, but I want to point out that it's unbelievable wasteful to de-orbit old space stations. It was incredibly expensive to put them in orbit in the first place. Boost them into a higher orbit and strip out anything that presents an ongoing danger, like fuel tanks, then leave them there until they can be repurposed. Even if they are dangerous to use for habitation due to age, they can still be used as storage pods for future space stations.
Hooknosed Jack
Hooknosed Jack Yıl önce
Finally! A video on this topic! This is a serious problem that we need to start talking about. From Real Engineering’s video: In 2007 the chance of any one satellite colliding with any one 1cm piece of space debris was 20% per year. That probability rose to 50% in 2010, after a few satellites crashed into each other. And with Elon Musk’s Starlink sending thousands of satellites into orbit, I don’t see this problem getting _better._ Edit: Oh hey! You mentioned Starlink in the video! I wrote out this comment before watching :)
Avi K Shome
Avi K Shome Yıl önce
I can imagine a future where elon musk's starlinks will cover the earth and like clouds hide the sun in hot areas and also this things could collect solar energy and beam the energy back to Earth through a mother starlink satellite.
PartisanGamer Yıl önce
I would argue the solution will either be satellite or moon based lasers evaporating debris or "pushing" it into the atmosphere.
Pfhorrest Yıl önce
Could there by some way of catching a bunch of different bits of space debris together in a way that slows them all down together and drops them into a decaying orbit faster? Like some sort of physical net trawling behind a satellite, or perhaps some kind of magnetic attraction?
Alkhemia Studio
Alkhemia Studio Yıl önce
"Space is (as the name implies) spacious" - Matt O'Dowd (2021)
Peace Dogzs
Peace Dogzs Yıl önce
@m_train1 I started watching a video about time on Big Think last night. You may find it interesting if you have the time.
Mario Langlois
Mario Langlois Yıl önce
Really, that s a naive statement, we used to say exactly that about the sky for airplanes less than 50 years ago... how long before we can no longer launch out of earth atmosphere safely. Shame that menkind can t think ahead...
Michael Donoghue
Michael Donoghue Yıl önce
@Pier Francesco Peperoni I was making a joke 😬
Pier Francesco Peperoni
Pier Francesco Peperoni Yıl önce
@Michael Donoghue That's not how space and information works. Whatch the episodes about the block-universe.
SpindlyScoundrel Yıl önce
This is the kind of intellectual stuff I lap up!
Oort Cloud
Oort Cloud Yıl önce
If its de-orbital like Starlink using onboard thrusters, I find it to be okay, or if its just in LEO it can naturally de-orbit in a few days. When talking about GEO, THATS where the problem is. Most GEO Satellites don't have thrusters enough to de-orbit it.
mrJety89 Yıl önce
The way that space is -- it is, quite spacious, after all, and given the number of objects that need to be deorbited, you'd probably need a way to influence the orbit of these objects from a distance, possibly from a ground station using lasers or something. The other way is to make thousands of tiny deorbiter satellites with little more than a super thin net and a xenon drive. It's possible, and once starship becomes operational, it becomes financially viable as well. Given the speed of this disaster, I expect it to be mostly solved within the next fifty years or so.
Badly Drawn Turtle
Badly Drawn Turtle Yıl önce
Another question on Planck relics: They wouldn't interact with anything substantially defuse, but what about objects that are incredibly dense, say neutron stars, or quark stars (assuming the latter exist)?
Thomas Han
Thomas Han Yıl önce
Please do more simple videos like this I mean, I love (almost) all videos this channel. But I don't wanna think too much. Sometimes, I just need to relax and enjoy informative TRshow videos.
Thomas Han
Thomas Han Yıl önce
@Thomas Wright Thanks, I'll check them out
Thomas Wright
Thomas Wright Yıl önce
If, like me, you're just looking to relax with some educational content, I will make some recommendations for you. I'll let you decide what you think might be interesting or not, but these are all educational shows I enjoy. That Works. Matt and Ilya are smiths who create weapons, armor, and other stuff. A good many of their builds are based on pop culture (anime, games, movies, etc.), but they also do historic builds. You learn a lot about metallurgy and smithing, plus get to see some cool weapons put into action. Kyle Royer Knives. Kyle is an ABS Master Smith who creates phenomenally beautiful knives and swords. His goal is actually teaching people bladesmithing through his videos. But even if you're not interested in that, you can still see him create some excellent works of functional artwork. Overly Sarcastic Productions. A channel that alternates between history, literature, and mythology. It uses humor and cute animations to educate. Red does mostly literature and mythology, and Blue does mostly history. I highly recommend Red's ongoing series highlighting The Journey to the West. Shadiversity. Shad Brookes, author of Chronicles of Everfall, discusses medieval culture, castles, weapons, and such, all through the lens of popular culture and storytelling. He can get a bit polemical at times on subjects he feels particularly strong about, but he's also quite funny and informing if you're interested in medieval culture. Sabaton History. The metal band Sabaton teams up with historian Indy Neidell to discuss actual historical events that inspire their music, which focuses on historic warfare. Learn about such things as the Bismarck, the Battle of Wizna, the Winged Hussars, Audie Murphy, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War." Great history and great music. Kyle Hill. Kyle does a lot of science content, usually connected with pop culture. You've probably already seen his show on Nerdist, Because Science. He's still producing content but on his own channel now.
Nick M
Nick M Yıl önce
the explanation of kessler syndrome really reminds me of fission reactions (one atom decays and causes other nearby atoms to decay etc.)
AnExPor Yıl önce
Really cool topic. Thanks for taking a look at how humans can't help polluting anything and everything.
Mr. B.
Mr. B. Yıl önce
I know it will be difficult, but would it be possible to use some sort of scoop to change the orbits of these little things. So they de-orbit quicker?
Christopher Leamons
Christopher Leamons Yıl önce
My parents were terrified of paint chips when I was a child.
david21686 Yıl önce
10:08 There is no "slow part" of an exponential rise; exponential functions are always exponential functions, and any point can look like a part of the "flat, linear" section or the "steep, exponential" section by zooming in or out.
Weerknuffelbeer Yıl önce
@Fred Planatia That's only true for exponential functions with a single exponential term. Try plotting f(x) = x^3 - x^2 (sorry for the clumsy notation, I have no idea how to do superscript in a TRshow comment) between x=-5 and x=5 for example, you'll see that it has a minimum and a maximum at the values of x where it's derivative equals 0 (that's the right way to mathematically explain this, right?).
Weerknuffelbeer Yıl önce
It depends on your perspective. In these situations the starting point of the "steep exponential" part of the graph is usually defined by the point at which exponenitally growing phenomena become a problem for us. But yes, purely mathematically you are right, an exponential function always behaves in an exponential way.
Sid Yıl önce
Bruv it's a comparative statement... The growth of space junk is slow right now compared to what it would be in a while.
Adrian Colley
Adrian Colley Yıl önce
A sort of conformal, cyclic Kesslerology?
Fred Planatia
Fred Planatia Yıl önce
The slope is itself exponentially increasing so yes the rate does increase more and more rapidly, but that means every part of the curve looks the same and there is no place that you can say 'and right here the function begins rising steeply'
Michael Collins
Michael Collins Yıl önce
Could we perhaps use high-intensity laser pulses from Earth to apply photon pressure on little chunks of space debris, gradually de-orbiting them?
Gerald Merkowitz
Gerald Merkowitz Yıl önce
I'm very curious to know what the collision between the two satellites look like. I can't imagine things colliding at such speed, nor the super weird behaviour the matter would have
Pronto Yıl önce
The answer is that no one gets a license to launch anything without registering an 'end of life' disposal plan. Maybe also that they must put hard cash into a cleanup fund escrow account in case their plan fails. Or, is that already required?
Cantu Bloodaxe
Cantu Bloodaxe Yıl önce
Are there any scale images of all the object floating in orbit around Earth?
zyfi Yıl önce
What if we required all larger satellites to be covered in an expanding sticky foam to stop or slow debris that hits it?
Boris Dorofeev
Boris Dorofeev Yıl önce
There was an anime show I'm the early 2000's about a crew of astronauts that were tasked with cleaning up space debris. Also, they work for a private corporation so imagine Amazon with part of its work as a space garbage company.
Erik L
Erik L Yıl önce
@Confictura Incarnatus planetes was not grimdark
Roger Crossley
Roger Crossley Yıl önce
The science fiction story Dirty Habits covered this in the late sixties or early seventies, a good read with a twist at the end.
Death Parade
Death Parade Yıl önce
It was Planetes. One of my favourite anime.
inyobill Yıl önce
Because private enterprise is driven by altruistic motivations. One personal experioence I have with the difference between contractor supplied software and in house government is the quality is very comparable, but the contractor supplied software is triple in cost. Stockholder profit has to come from somewhere, in this case our tax dollars.
Confictura Incarnatus
Confictura Incarnatus Yıl önce
Ah yes, Planetes, my first ever serious and grimdark reality manga, the space opera drama aside
mrdavid 6 aylar önce
I always wonder what sort of effect this has on our climate. Think about it for a second. When you're driving in the rain or snow at night, your headlights look dim on everything because it can't shine through all that rain or snow in the air coming down. Could the same thing happen with space junk? I know the sun looks bright when it's not cloudy, but a lot of solar light that the earth depends on might not be getting through all this space junk. Where is that giant vacuum ship from Space Balls when you need it?
Samael 11
Samael 11 Yıl önce
Would it be plausible to set up a mid-ish Earth orbit line or web of satellites able to emit something like concentrated Infrared to push the tiny bits of dangerous debris back to the thicker parts of Earth's Atmo faster? It is not without issue, but it seems like it could do a decent job if there were a small web of orbitals emitting a more concentrated line of this energy. Seems more reasonable (at least right now) than the laser zapping system I heard about being theorized a while back, especially in regards to the debris too small to track. And i'm not talking overnight clearing orbit, but even doubling orbital decay rates of debris would be nice.
Aaron Paul
Aaron Paul Yıl önce
I honestly have to ask what would happen if you push some kind of gas in the orbits of the small particles ... that should accelerate the decay or would that be to problematic for the other satellites.
Brian Krebs
Brian Krebs Yıl önce
Suddenly, putting as much CO2 into the atmosphere as fast as possible is starting to make sense 🤔
dazraf Yıl önce
Decades ago, someone asked me for the meaning of "Technical Debt" (I work with IT systems) - I showed them a visualisation of space junk. Made it pretty clear. "Giant tornado of death" defines it accurately.
13ccasto Yıl önce
Why would we deal with our problems now when we could deal with them when they get much worse later?
@AlwaysDisPutin i think they were joking, since it’s a well-known fact that people don’t deal with problems until they’ve worsened
Winston Deleon
Winston Deleon Yıl önce
@AlwaysDisPutin No, more like a career as a corporate executive. This is corporate thinking in a nutshell: maximize profit, externalize or ignore all responsibility for dealing with the results. Corporations are the ones who are really going to screw us with regard to the Kessler effect. Why would they want to pay anything to deal with their dead satellites when it can just be someone else's problem?
AlwaysDisPutin Yıl önce
_"Why would we deal with our problems now when we could deal with them when they get much worse later?"_ With this philosophy, you could have a career in politics
May the Science be with You
May the Science be with You Yıl önce
Why should I pay to get rid of my own waste when I can keep making money until I die, I'm sure my grandchildren will handle it once I'm gone. They should thank me for generating so much wealth. They can use their inheritance to clean up the mess I create, or take an example of me and push it down to their grandkids /s
Tara Dillenburger-Keenan
Tara Dillenburger-Keenan Yıl önce
It's always great to see stuff you work on in the wild, and even better when it's on SpaceTime! Edit: I've now finished watching, and you mentioned Gabbard with showing off an example of his amazing chart for satellite collision! Also, regarding Starlink, there already are some competitors with satellites already launched, such as OneWeb.
Russ Hamilton
Russ Hamilton 6 aylar önce
If you orbited enough satellites with a magnetic field, could you get the shielding effect to fluff up the atmosphere enough to cause drag and deorbit the junk?
Daniel Victor
Daniel Victor Yıl önce
I always felt that space debris was like throwing a penny into the ocean.. it's so massive unlikely to ever hit another one
Daniel Victor
Daniel Victor Yıl önce
@Adrian Colley orbital space is hundreds of millions of square miles in 3D.. those illustration make it seem like it's a bunch of basketballs floating around a pool..
Adrian Colley
Adrian Colley Yıl önce
Except that when it does hit, it will hit at a relative speed of over 10 km/s.
David Lipcsey
David Lipcsey Yıl önce
One of the few episodes I could actually comprehend
Zak C
Zak C Yıl önce
But we watch them anyway 🤷‍♂️😹
Marcus Coburn
Marcus Coburn Yıl önce
At 6:07 when discussing boosting a satellite’s orbit, the graphic shows a rocket pointing straight down towards Earth to raise itself into a higher orbital plane. However it’s my understanding that the only way to move higher or lower in orbit is to accelerate or decelerate. If a satellite wanted to raise its orbit, shouldn’t it be firing a rocket straight backwards (opposite the direction of travel) to speed up?
Jason Burbank
Jason Burbank Yıl önce
Are there any citations for the claim that 40% of cataloged space debris comes from exploded second stages of US rockets? (6:46)
Rob Fraser
Rob Fraser Yıl önce
It's not hard to believe to be honest, the US has practically declared ownership of space for the past 60 years by filling it with satellites for TV, comms, spying, etc, the vast majority of operational and defunct satellites are American and they weren't teleported up there.
Series Consideration
Series Consideration Yıl önce
This is probably getting into science fiction, but imagine technology where we could gather all this junk and immediately recycle it into reusable materials. Break it down into its more basic elements, perhaps. Kind of like, I don't know, the recycling machine in Subnautica Below Zero.
BeakerSpawn Tech
BeakerSpawn Tech Yıl önce
I feel there's some sort of weird synergy between Spacetime and Anton Petrov. They seem to post similar content within days of each other.
Anarchy Antz
Anarchy Antz 9 aylar önce
@csehszlovakze They do as they quoted him when Anton did the debunking of that Alien crank Avi Loeb was saying "its an alien lightsail!" as his channel rightly showed how it was a shard of an ice planet like Pluto. They also quote Isaac Arthur's channel, and they quote PBS Space Time as well.
Adrian Colley
Adrian Colley Yıl önce
Which one is the First, and which the Second Foundation?
RanEncounter Yıl önce
Well they both read news about space and science.
csehszlovakze Yıl önce
I wouldn't be surprised if the SpaceTime team watched Anton's videos.
Virgo113 Yıl önce
Don't worry, the algorithm knows it too.
iliketrains0pwned Yıl önce
I'm curious about something. Back in my physics II class, I remember my prof mentioning that all materials are inherently diamagnetic (repel magnetic fields) or paramagnetic (attracted to magnetic fields). If we placed a large, very strong magnetic field into an orbit with a lot of debris, could this potentially be used to increase the "drag" on objects passing through it? Would a diamagnetic object try to repel the field and slow down, and would a paramagnetic object try to grab onto the field and slow down?
Chris Sloan
Chris Sloan Yıl önce
@iliketrains0pwned Scattering debris into new orbits is not necessarily a good thing. It means that potentially more orbits have to worry about the debris and if we were able to track it, it has now shifted and is now untracked, at least for now. So, cases where the debris more or less just gets redirected are probably unhelpful and maybe detrimental. Cases where the debris loses energy (without colliding with something to do it) are more interesting. I'm not really sure how you make that the more common case, however.
nur Pech beim spielen
nur Pech beim spielen Yıl önce
Even if you could do that, the magnetic field is gonna interfere with earths magnetic field. That could cause all kinds of problems like the satilite experiencing drag from earths magnetic field or deforming warts magnetic field. Additionaly I don't think it would be easy to bring a magnet(especially if you use permanent magnets) that powerful or any kind of power supply for an electro magnet that strong into orbit.
iliketrains0pwned Yıl önce
@Chris Sloan Both of those are very good points. But, given enough time, orbits do eventually intersect more than once. I wonder how multiple passes would affect the debris
iliketrains0pwned Yıl önce
@Eric Laska So what if we had a large constellation of smaller "net" satellites to do it instead of one big one?
Chris Sloan
Chris Sloan Yıl önce
I think "Space is spacious" makes this a tricky proposition. As the video says, the Kessler syndrome can be a really big problem, but still one satellite would have trouble encountering enough debris to be useful. But aside from that, if an 11 km/s piece of debris comes at your satellite, it would be to have an awfully powerful magnetic field to do more than scatter the debris into a slightly different orbit, I think. So, I'm not sure it wouldn't work, but it seems like it might be hard to make something like that practical.
scotty moondog jakubin
scotty moondog jakubin Yıl önce
Ive seen slow motion videos of objects being hit by supersonic debri ! its pretty wild what a bb can do to a 6" thick piece of aluminum !
Adam 10 aylar önce
I was shocked lasers didn't enter into the discussion. Lasers are always the answer in physics. I envisioned a large "detect and destroy" type laser that orbits the Earth. It would shoot high energy pulses of light to burn up the debris or knock them toward the Earth.
Ma Si
Ma Si Yıl önce
Could it be beneficial to release huge "clouds" of gas in higher orbit to artificially extend the atmosphere and deorbit those small pieces of debris a little faster?
Sol M-J
Sol M-J Yıl önce
We can't release large enough clouds of gas to make an impact.
david21686 Yıl önce
Has anyone done the math on launching hundreds of small, super-magnetic neodynium magnets into orbit? Or launching a single, gigantic neodynium magnet? Will the lack of friction and air resistance overcome the vastness of space and cause the tiny fragments of space junk to coagulate and de-orbit?
DontMockMySmock Yıl önce
It occurred to me that Kessler Syndrome's positive feedback effect relies on collisions creating more debris that is still going at sufficient orbital velocity. But what if collisions instead were inelastic enough that they reduced orbital velocities to the point where the orbits decayed into the atmosphere, quickly enough that they were unlikely to collide again before burning up? So anyway I'm proposing that we launch half a million large blobs of silly putty into low earth orbit.
James Ruscheinski
James Ruscheinski Yıl önce
Could more technology be done on earth rather than orbit in space?
Y Qisq
Y Qisq Yıl önce
Hi I have a great solution: we just need to create more space and the best way to do that is by sending our satellites to a 4-dimensional space, which as we all know has much much larger space there ;)
Jim Graham
Jim Graham Yıl önce
Thanks Matt, my solution. Launch about 12 tonnes of coarse river sand into a east to west orbit. That would clean up low earth orbit stuff quick smart.
Free Hat
Free Hat Yıl önce
A special thanks to you and Anton Petrov for covering this.
Cole Brown
Cole Brown Yıl önce
As someone who works as an orbital engineer for a low earth orbit mega constellation (not starlink but very similar), it is a full time job to mitigate collision risks. The “industry standard” for when to mitigate a collision between objects is mostly simply probabilities over 1e-4. We perform about 1-5 mitigations across all satellites per day with a satellite count on the order of a few hundred. Thinking of collision events in the vicinity of our orbital regime gives me nightmares of the overtime we would have.
Luis M. Hernández Bailón
Luis M. Hernández Bailón Yıl önce
That last joke made me chuckle a lot, thanks :) Very nice visuals, sexy knowledge. PBS Space Time for the Win! It's amazing how I started a year ago or so to watch this channel. I went through many playlists, I learned a heck of a lot. And I am very happy to find out that now when I watch a video it feels like good old memories already, like the connection with the channel has become a fundamental part of my knowledge so it resonates with me. One could maybe say I feel some sort of entanglement. It definitely feels like I set a goal to learn, we achieved it together, and now the knowledge is there. The sense of growth, that needs some time and space to settle, to be used, and then to be a part of the reflection of yourself that you see in the mirror and that you have somehow mapped in your own head. 'Wanna talk some physics? I know some stuff' Btw, I am reading The Road to Reality by Roger Penrose, a- because I insanely like how he thinks and speaks, b- because you spoke about it so passionately in that home video during the pandemic where you suggested it. 'If I need to suggest just one from these books... em... Penrose, clearly' And man, I am having the ride of my life. Such writing, so to the point, insinuating, suggesting, explaining, trimming, building, and enjoying himself rather often. It's amazing: you like maths and physics? here, hold my hand and let's have a walk where I'll show you which maths are needed to understand the physic world and how.
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