Recently, a Chinese rocket debris was reported to have made its way back to Earth. Unfortunately, it is among the millions of space junk that we fail to clean. But as hard as it is, there are several reasons we should try to minimize and remove lots of it.

"Space-age" is starting to be pumped up again, bringing additions to new discoveries. But despite the research and innovation, space projects come with a price: multiple residues of craft and rocket segments floating on the face of space.

Almost half a century since the space race, many countries are still fond of sending sets of missions that leave junks orbiting outside of Earth. Chunks of satellites, chips, and rocket stages are just a few of our sacrifices to receive new knowledge, but is the payment worth it? It could possibly affect other missions, damaging crafts resulting in a crowded space, reports Scientific American.

Space Junk Removal Regulation Can Help

Space junk is getting out of hand. A combined number of tiny and huge space mission remnants total an estimate of 100 million floating scraps orbiting around the Earth's orbit. To lessen the garbage out on space, countries should do preemptive, compulsory junk removal through regulations.

(Photo: Pixabay from Pexels)

Colossal projects using the advantage of space, such as Elon Musk's Starlink, for example, are getting more frequent. The project has already functioning satellites active in space which is enough to confuse skywatchers and astronomers.

Countries and private companies are expected to launch missions in the coming years, much more than the missions from the past half a century combined, reports CNBC.

One of the new challenges we will face in the coming decades is the risk of satellite population. People might not be aware, but numerous close-calls of collisions have already occurred by fully functioning crafts, too.

If we are eager to achieve new advancements, the best way to remove space junks is to regulate space activities. A set of treaties was already in place regarding the matter. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty and four supporting international treaties paved the way for responsible space activities. In this way, we will be able to set updated and essential guides to trace remainders back to their respective owners.

With that said, systems are made to counter the increasing growth of junks in space. Technologies such as active debris removal (ADR) are being developed to start cleaning Earth's backyard.

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ADR: Simple Technology Retrieves Space Junks

Most of the ADR system uses simple mediums such as magnets, tentacles, harpoons, and nets to retrieve space junks.

One of the leading choices to clean space junks using ADR is ground-based lasers, a technology manufactured by Electro Optic System.

According to Firstpost, this type of ADR can track debris in space, preventing potential collisions by moving them away from each other or pushing them out of orbit.

Aside from Australia, several companies have managed to create ADR systems. For example, Japan's Astroscale also took a step towards a cleaner space. The company is presently developing its very own ELSA system, a magnet-using cleaner. The European Science Agency also tests ClearSpace-1, a space claw designed to capture and crush debris. In addition, RemoveDEBRIS have been testing to use harpoons and nets to catch space junks.

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