There’s Finally a Plan to Clean Up All That Space Junk
Author: Owen Bellwood
In total, there are currently more than 27,000 pieces of space junk floating around our planet. That’s roughly one piece of junk larger than 10 cm for every Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 sold in the U.S. so far this year. The sheer quantity of crap up there is now proving problematic - those abandoned, nonfunctional pieces of equipment pose a real risk of damaging the satellites we rely on every day. But now, Scientific American reports that lawmakers are starting to take action against the mounting pile of space junk.According to SciAm, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has a plan for removing all those defunct satellites from orbit. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced the first of several expected new rules meant to mitigate space junk. While only a small advancement for now, many experts are hopeful this could be the start of humanity finally sorting out the mess that’s been made in space. On September 8 the FCC announced its new proposal to require operators to remove satellites from orbit within five years of the end of their purpose in orbit. Currently this limit is set at 25 years, but many have felt that time frame inadequately addresses the problem and needlessly increases the risk of debris-generating collisions that further exacerbate the space junk threat.