Space

Building a Fence Against Space Junk

We are to shield ourselves from space junk thanks to a fence that will cost $915 million. The Space Fence will be built by the company Lockheed Martin.

The company has won an auction by the BBC in the US and is to create an aerospace system for observation, announced GlobalPost.

The tremendous amount of space garbage which has accumulated in Earth's orbit makes this project especially necessary. Experts claim that at least half a million pieces of debris from satellites and other anthropogenic rubble are orbiting around Earth.

All of these bits of junk have been accumulating in space since 1957, when the former USSR launched the first artificial satellite Sputnik 1.

The speed with which these space junk bits orbit outer space is 16777 miles (27000 km) per hour, and if they collide with each other they break apart into much smaller pieces. This in turn greatly endangers space operations, explain experts.

Satellite

The goal of this new project, called Space Fence - a system of radars based on Earth in the Marshall islands, will be to track and catalog the space detritus.

This new system will replace the current observation system of the BBC of the US, which is from the 60s of the past century. In truth, it is no longer effective enough, for it can only track a very small part of the cosmic debris - between 20 and 500 thousand pieces.

According to experts, the new Space Fence will be fully ready and officially functional beginning 2018.

A past study on the issue of the space debris claimed that European satellite operators suffered losses, caused by the very same trash, of more than 140 million euros yearly.

It is estimated that this sum may even rise during the next decade and reach 210 million euros annually, if measures are not taken in time.

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