Welcome to the Spaceyard
If the growing calls and concern for taking care of our environment are to be realized, then we need to include outer space in this conversation. Although it is a landscape that is accessible by a select group of trained individuals and organizations, the consequence of cluttering outer space with our man-made inventions impacts us all. Depending on their orbital position, space debris can take a few or hundreds of years to re-enter the atmosphere. The issue lies in when the debris doesn’t burn up when it re-enters and reaches the ground, which in this case the still in-tact debris becomes hazardous to Earth’s environment. While space debris is commonly the result of satellites colliding with each other or anti-satellite tests, the fact that there are more objects than ever floating around in Earth’s orbit increases the likelihood of space debris re-entering and hitting a person. While there are many different estimates, most state that there is a 1-in-10,000 chance of any person being hit, anywhere in the world. Since the current number of objects floating in Earth’s orbit is in the 100 trillion figure, a recycling space station is necessary to capture, deorbit, and reuse the space debris.