European space agency warns of debris to explode like grenades above earth 

Posted 2017/04/13

Space

April 13: The European Space Agency has warned of the danger of the space debris and stated that it could cause a problem for the technology on Earth and astronauts’ life can be in danger.

It is believed some 7,000 tonnes of space junk including defunct satellites, junk from rockets and other metals has built up close to the Earth, which the ESA has warned that could cause a problem for other satellites and even astronauts.

If two pieces of kit collide – or worst an astronaut is hit – the effect would be similar to “an exploding grenade”. A massive congestion of debris in the space has made ESA demand it to clear or we will face the consequences.

Experts fear regions in the Earth’s orbit will become inaccessible for the space flight as they essentially block the paths of the rockets. Due to the speed at which objects are travelling, it is possible that they could cause a domino effect where one satellite wipes out another in the ongoing process.

In a newly released video, Holger Krag, head of space debris at the ESA, said: “It is not comparable to a gunshot.”

“The energy contained in one centimetre (0.4 inches) particle hitting a satellite at that velocity, roughly corresponds to an exploding grenade. These collisions generate more fragments, and these fragments are candidates for new collisions to come. The largest fear we have is that we enter into some sort of cascading effect, where one collision triggers the next one.”

“This is not anything that will happen in a microsecond like in the movie Gravity. It will set in slowly, hardly noticeable, but unstoppable. Over decades, the frequency of collisions might increase without human influence. That is a situation that might render some regions in space unusable for space flight and that would be a disaster.”

In the modern world, humans rely heavily on satellites with the man-made objects used for the applications such as internet service, GPS navigation, satellite TV and phone signal.

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