Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Canada say (via PTI) has reported that governments need to take collective action and issue orders that rocket debris or parts be safely directed back to Earth after their use, which could drive up launch costs. , but could potentially save lives.
Michael Byers, professor in UBC’s Department of Political Science and lead author of the study, said, “Is the loss of human life allowed to be treated simply as a cost of doing business, or is it something we should avoid when we can?” Should? And that’s the key point here: We can protect against this risk.”
The researchers noted that when objects such as satellites are launched into space, they use rockets, parts of which are often left in Earth orbit.
Byers believes that if the orbit of these remaining rocket parts is low enough, they could re-enter the atmosphere in an uncontrolled manner. Most parts will burn up in the atmosphere, but potentially lethal fragments may fall toward the ground. The study, published in the journal Nature Astronomy, analyzed more than 30 years of data from a public satellite catalogue, and calculated the potential risk to human life over the next 10 years.
Experts also looked at rates of uncontrolled rocket body re-entry, their orbits and human population data. Using two different methods, they found that current practice has a 6 to 10 percent chance of one or more occurrences over the next decade if each re-entry spreads hazardous debris over an area of 10 meters square on average. .
This calculation is done with people on the ground in mind, while Byers said we should also consider what would happen if a piece of debris hits an airplane during flight.
Study co-author Aaron Boley, an associate professor at UBC, said, “Risks have so far been assessed on a per-launch basis, which leads people to feel that the risk is too small to be considered.” can be safely ignored. But the risk of a frequent occurrence is not that small.” He further said “No casualties have been reported so far, and also no mass incident, but are we waiting for that moment and then react, especially when it involves human life, or should we be prepared for it.” Should you try to appear?”