Please don’t litter space, scientists say

BETHESDA, Md. (UPI) — U.S. scientists are looking for a way to clear the clutter in space, which some say is becoming troublesome on the heavenly highways.

Launchspace Training, an organization that trains space professionals in Bethesda, Md., is asking for suggestions on cleaning up the litter, Space.com reported. So far, ideas have fallen into two buckets — limiting new debris and eliminating existing debris.

The space junk problem is increasing, in part because of collisions between materials in space, rocket stage failures and activities such as anti-satellite testing, the online publication reported.

Bob Russo of Launchspace Training said the facility’s staff is looking for long-term solutions to the problem.

“Even though recent efforts have been successful in minimizing the amount of new debris, the number of debris pieces continues to increase,” Russo told Space.com. “If space-faring nations continue to ignore this growing space access challenge, we will reach a gridlock situation in which launching satellites is too risky. Thus, a space cleanup is inevitable.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International
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