by Launchspace Staff Writers
Bethesda, MD (SPX) May 03, 2017
Most people take space flight for granted. This October will mark the 60th anniversary of the Sputnik launch. On October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite and the Space Age. The spacecraft weighed only 184 pounds and carried only a radio transmitter inside its highly polished shell. This event immediately shocked the world, but its long-term impact was much greater. Access to space profoundly changed the shape of the twentieth century and every future century.
Human activity in space has produced societal benefits that improved the quality of life on Earth. Those first satellites, designed to study the space environment and test capabilities in Earth orbit, contributed critical knowledge toward developing satellite telecommunications, global positioning and advances in weather forecasting.
Orbital exploration initiated economic development that today delivers growing returns on invested funds. The challenges of space exploration have led to better understanding of our Universe and the solar system in which we live. Knowledge acquired from space exploration has also introduced new perspectives on our individual and collective place in the Universe.
Employing the complementary capabilities of both humans and robotic systems will continue to enable humankind to meet the most ambitious space exploration challenges, and to increase benefits for society. In fact, society has already accepted space applications as a fundamental part of every-day life.
Almost every activity in First World countries has made space-based services an integral part of commerce and leisure. Without space access, today's societies would have to revert back at least 50 years in terms of technologies, travel, communications, banking and entertainment.
Few people are aware of this vulnerability in the texture of today's life. Yet, we are careening with blatant indifference toward an end to our use of space by ignoring the two megatons of trash accumulating in front of our low-orbiting satellites.
Near-Earth space is quick filling up with this trash. We have given it a fancy scientific name, "Resident Space Objects" or RSOs, but it is still just orbit-clogging trash that is the result of satellite break-ups and collisions.
One day soon, this trash will overwhelm the system and space access to come to a devastating crash. As the trash collector once said, "You can pay me a little now, or you can paid me dearly later."
Moscow (Sputnik) Apr 26, 2017
The European Space Agency (ESA) has warned that man-made junk in space is getting out of hand. Radio Sputnik discussed the space debris problem with former head of the Space Debris Office of the European Space Agency, Dr. Heiner Klinkrad. During a conference on space debris, held in Germany this week, the ESA expressed concerns over the increasing danger of orbiting space trash. Some exper ... read more
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|