It has come to the state realization that many people do not recognize that dealing with space debris has become a national security issue. It is important to realize that space activities have a great impact on the geography of the earth and the hidden problem imposed by the debris is the militarization of space technologies that are designed to clean it up (Aglietti et al., 2010). Basically, space debris poses several and significant risks and these risks tend to endanger the chances of commercial, military and civilian missions and activities in outer space (Shan & Gill, 2020). For example, the movie gravity clearly captured the devastation caused by orbital debris cloud which leads to the deaths of three astronauts and destroyed equipment. Space debris can be lethal to machines and human beings no matter the size either large or small.
There are two major ways through which space debris happens. They are natural fragmentation and deliberate destruction. The breaking up of older spacecraft also impacts and affects space debris. However, it is important to note that debris itself can also fragment (Aglietti et al., 2010). Some of the deliberate events that result in space debris are like when china utilized a based direct missile to bring down a weather satellite. As a result, the event caused an estimated 3400 pieces of debris that will be around for several years
To come up with feasible ways of dealing with space debris and ensuring that the outer space is safe, sustainable and secure for all powers, we need to work with other nations collaboratively. No matter how great the United States is, it cannot deal with the issue on its own. The solutions we are going to embrace are either military or technological. Therefore, we shall embark on creating awareness, focussing in diplomacy and proactively work on improving the world’s space leaders, powers and thinkers
The reason as to why we need to remove space debris is because it creates an external cost during the launch of or use of a spacecraft. Besides, several spacecraft have been damaged and destroyed by space debris. Thus the need for debris reduction. Some of the ways we are going to execute this is through use of technological approaches. We shall use a clean-up CubeSat known as Obsolete Spacecraft Capture and Removal which will help to hunt down and de-orbit the debris on the cheap using tethers and on-board nets. The advantage of this clean up system is it will execute the task autonomously with little control and guidance on the ground.
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Aglietti, G. S., Taylor, B., Fellowes, S., Salmon, T., Retat, I., Hall, A., … & Vinkoff, N. (2020). The active space debris removal mission RemoveDebris. Part 2: in orbit operations. Acta Astronautica, 168, 310-322. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0094576519312500
Shan, M., Guo, J., & Gill, E. (2020). An analysis of the flexibility modeling of a net for space debris removal. Advances in Space Research, 65(3), 1083-1094. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273117719307914