Episode 337: Clean Up Time for Low Earth Orbit

Low Earth orbit is a mess, with flotsam floating around at speeds between 17,000 to 20,000 MPH. These pieces of space debris, some that are relics from the beginning of the space age are numerous. They are various sizes ranging from the very large, (spent boosters and the like) to the  to the very small like bolts, washers and various pieces of small hardware. Their presence threatens communications and weather satellites, piloted spacecraft and orbiting manned platforms like the International Space Station.  

 A report issued last week by the National Research Council indicated that the orbital debris problem may have reached a tipping point where collisions of decommissioned satellites, empty boosters and smaller pieces will continually collied with each other. The result:more debris in low earth orbit causing the problem to get worse. This may prevent future utilization of low earth orbit by anyone.

To talk about this problem further and discuss ways to solve this looming crisis, we asked two recent graduates of Singularity University's GSP 2011 class; Major Franz Gayl United States Marine Corps (ret) and the author of the book "It's Only Rocket Science", Doctor Lucy Rogers from the United Kingdom, both already quite accomplished in their respective fields to discuses the issue of space debris. Both had studied the issue of Earth Orbital Debris, and brainstormed ways to attempt to solve the problem while at Singularity University.

You may follow Dr. Lucy Rogers on Twitter. Her Twitter address is @DrLucyRogers

Note: Any opinions presented by Mr. Gayl in this porgram are his own. and not the postion of the US Government. 

Host this Episode: Gene Mikulka.  Guests: Franz Gayl & Dr. Lucy Rogers  Show Recorded - 9/10/2011

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