Space Junk: A Growing Threat to Satellites and the Future of Space Exploration

Space exploration has opened a world of possibilities and has enabled humans to achieve unimaginable feats. However, with every milestone comes a new problem, and the problem of space debris or space junk is no different. In this research paper, we will discuss the problem of space junk and how it can cause us problems in the future.

What is Space Junk?

Space junk, also known as space debris, refers to man-made objects in orbit around the Earth that no longer serve a purpose. These objects range from tiny fragments of debris to defunct satellites and rockets. According to NASA, there are over 26,000 pieces of debris larger than 10 cm in orbit around the Earth, and millions of smaller pieces that cannot be tracked. The debris in orbit is traveling at high speeds of up to 28,000 kilometers per hour, making it a significant threat to active satellites and spacecraft.

How does Space Junk Affect Us?

The increasing amount of space debris poses a significant threat to our satellites and spacecraft. Satellites are essential for communication, navigation, and weather forecasting, and they are also used for national security purposes. Spacecraft are used for exploring space, studying the Earth, and conducting scientific experiments. The debris in orbit poses a threat to these critical systems, and a collision with space junk could cause significant damage or even destruction.

The problem of space debris has become so severe that some experts have started to refer to it as the “Kessler Syndrome.” This theory proposes that as more debris is created, collisions between objects will become more frequent, creating a cascade of collisions that will generate even more debris, making the situation even worse. This cycle of collisions could eventually make space travel impossible due to the high risk of collision.

In addition to the risk of collisions, space debris also poses a significant threat to human life on Earth. As objects re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere, they can pose a risk to people on the ground. In 1979, the Skylab space station re-entered the Earth’s atmosphere, and debris fell over Western Australia. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it served as a reminder of the potential dangers of space debris.

The Future of Space Junk:

The problem of space debris is only going to get worse as more countries enter the space race and launch more satellites and spacecraft. In addition, the growing popularity of satellite constellations, such as SpaceX’s Starlink, means that the number of satellites in orbit will increase exponentially in the coming years. This will create a greater risk of collisions and make it even more challenging to ensure the safety of our critical systems in space.

The potential dangers of space debris have led to calls for more active debris removal efforts. There are currently several proposals for removing debris from orbit, including using lasers to vaporize small debris or capturing larger objects with robotic arms. However, these methods are still in the experimental stage, and it will take time to develop the technology and infrastructure needed to make them viable.


The problem of space debris is a significant threat to our critical systems in space and to human life on Earth. The increasing amount of debris in orbit creates a greater risk of collisions, which could have catastrophic consequences. It is essential that we continue to develop technologies to remove debris from orbit and ensure the safety of our critical systems in space. As we continue to explore space and push the boundaries of human knowledge, we must also take responsibility for the debris we create and take steps to protect our planet and the future of space exploration.


  1. NASA. “Orbital Debris FAQs.” NASA, 2022,
  2. Kessler, Donald J., and Burton G. Cour-Palais. “Collision Frequency of Artificial Satellites. The Creation of a Debris Belt.” Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 83, no. A6, 1978, pp. 2637-2646.
  3. European Space Agency. “Space Debris.” European Space Agency, 2022,
  4. Gorman, Edward. “The Growing Problem of Space Junk.” Scientific American, 12 Mar. 2018,
  5. United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs. “Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.” United Nations, 2019,

Sign Me Up For Mars!

Greetings Wondergressivers! Are you tired of blue skies, green grass, and sunny days? Do you wish to explore the Final Frontier? Maybe red is a much more desired color for you? Or maybe you have simply conquered Mt. Everest and want to aspire to higher, more challenging heights; three times higher to be exact!  Well, for all you daredevils, adventure seekers, space cowboys, and solo yolo’s, you are now able to apply to colonize that big, red, desert brother of ours, Mars.

All it takes is an application and a short video sent to Mars One and you will become one of already 78,000 (and counting) applicants from which 4 will be chosen to pioneer the first colony on Mars! Oh, and of course a $38 fee which is charged to all American applicants; other countries are stuck more or less depending on their wealth. We may not even need that warp drive to be completely developed before we start colonizing other planets! Isn’t it all oh so exciting?

The voyage is set to take place in 2023 and will cost roughly 6 billion dollars. Anyone with zero technical skill that is over the age of 18, with no specific qualifications, can apply and be chosen for the voyage. But how will all of this be payed for? Well, it seems it will all be one big to do on television once a select group of “candidates” are chosen by 2015. These 20-40 people will then be trained for 7 years and whittled down to roughly 4 through a series of television events and audience votes.

As exciting as it all sounds, it is a little disappointing that we have to rely on a televised popularity contest as a selection process for our Mars colony. It is inspiring, however, to hear that there is such a widespread reception of the idea of colonizing Mars, and that we already have over 78,000 applicants to do so! More-so that the group of 78,000 applicants is a very diverse group from all around the world!

Bas Lansdorp, co-founder and chief executive officer of Mars One, says:

Mars One is a mission representing all humanity, and its true spirit will be justified only if people from the entire world are represented

The trip itself will take about seven months once the 4 are chosen but before that rovers will be sent to survey possible settlement areas and build the infrastructure of the colony for the candidates chosen. I just hope the Mars spiders don’t get these poor souls. For more on “the plan” click on over to this link to watch the Mars One video!



Mars One

Mars Facts – Want to live on Mars?

Bas Lansdorp

Reality TV show to follow Settlers

Colonizing Mars Q and A

Wiki Olympus Mons

Wondergressive – Let’s Capture US an Asteroid

Wondergressive – Faster than light travel

Wondergressive – Mars Seasonal spiders

Wondergressive – TVs Brains and Zombies oh My!

Voyager 1: The Final Frontier?

The American Geophysical Union (AGU) issued a press release on March 20 indicating that the Voyager 1 space probe may have travelled beyond the influence of the Sun and become the first man-made object to exit the Solar System. There is considerable discrepancy on whether or not that statement is accurate, however, as there is no real consensus on what constitutes the actual end of our Solar System. For now, though, let’s ignore the specifics of the debate and simply respect and reflect on the enormity of the accomplishment.

The AGU reported that the probe appears to have traversed past the heliosphere:

The heliosphere is a region of space dominated by the Sun and its wind of energetic particles, and which is thought to be enclosed, bubble-like, in the surrounding interstellar medium of gas and dust that pervades the Milky Way galaxy. On August 25, 2012, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft measured drastic changes in radiation levels, more than 11 billion miles from the Sun. Anomalous cosmic rays, which are cosmic rays trapped in the outer heliosphere all but vanished, dropping to less than 1 percent of previous amounts. At the same time, galactic cosmic rays–cosmic radiation from outside of the solar system–spiked to levels not seen since Voyager’s launch, with intensities as much as twice previous levels.”

In a scientific journal for the AGU, Geophysical Research Letters, authors W.R. Webber and F.B. MacDonald state:

“It appears that [Voyager 1] has exited the main solar modulation region, revealing [hydrogen] and [helium] spectra characteristic of those to be expected in the local interstellar medium.”

However, Webber notes, scientists are continuing to debate whether Voyager 1 has reached interstellar space or entered a separate, undefined region beyond the solar system.”

NASA scientists also attempt to dampen the celebratory moment of man first dipping his big toe into the interstellar pool of the final frontier:

“It is the consensus of the Voyager science team that Voyager 1 has not yet left the solar system or reached interstellar space. In December 2012, the Voyager science team reported that Voyager 1 is within a new region called ‘the magnetic highway’ where energetic particles changed dramatically. A change in the direction of the magnetic field is the last critical indicator of reaching interstellar space and that change of direction has not yet been observed.”

None of that matters to me. I’m in it for the science, man. And for its historical significance.

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 was designed to investigate the outer gas giants. After collecting data on Jupiter and Saturn and the latter’s largest moon, Titan, the probe was sent out into the interplanetary medium to explore the boundaries of space. The probe is estimated to have enough juice in it to be able to send messages back to Earth until 2025.

To me, the most illustrious accomplishment of the spacecraft was championed by the legendary Carl Sagan. At his urging, the space probe was directed to take a picture of Earth from about 6 billion kilometers away. This picture is called the Pale Blue Dot and it remains one of the most mesmerizing and resonating images of our teal, Goldilocks planet.

The space probe also contains the Voyager Golden Record, a copper time-capsule of man’s scientific and artistic achievements, meant to demonstrate homo sapiens status as intelligent life. Among other things, it records our understanding of DNA and mathematical concepts, spoken greetings in 55 languages and a musical selection that ranges from Beethoven to Chuck Berry. Although these inclusions are unlikely to ever find themselves in an extra-terrestrial iPod, it’s the beauty behind the thought that counts.

We’ll have plenty of time later to determine when Voyager 1 definitively escaped the influence of the Sun.   The specifics don’t seem too important right now, though. At 123.5 astronomical units away from our parental star, it is certainly the farthest we’ve ever roamed from our pale blue dot. For now, let us revel in the gorgeous reality that it is (arguably) the first man-made object to be on the outside looking in, our first child to leave the solar roost.





NASA’s Planned Mission to an Asteroid



NASA has done it again. Or will do. Maybe.

To their credit the National Aeronautics and Space Administration sports a hefty 54 year resume of boring old activities such as: landing on the moon (or not?), dramatically influencing technology, launching numerous manned and unmanned masses of flame propelled metal into space, and consistently planning missions that only psychedelic drug users and post doctoral rocket scientists could dream up. This time it appears that NASA has just about outdone themselves ( ( (IN SPACE) ) ).


Using a cleverly named “Space Exploration Vehicle“, astronauts will dock with a near earth asteroid. Once attached, (then called) astroidnauts will conduct a variety of experiments. Seth Borenstein from the Huffington Post writes:

NASA is thinking about jetpacks, tethers, bungees, nets and spiderwebs to allow explorers to float just above the surface of it while attached to a smaller mini-spaceship.

JET PACKS! Sign me up. Borenstein goes on to say:

It would take half a year to reach an asteroid, based on current possible targets. The deep space propulsion system to fly such a distance isn’t perfected yet. Football-field-sized solar panels would help, meaning the entire mothership complex would be fairly large. It would have to protect the space travelers from killer solar and cosmic ray bursts. And, they would need a crew capsule, maybe two, for traveling between the asteroid complex and Earth.


That’s right science! Start the inventing NOW!

There is even speculation on plans to tow an asteroid into orbit between Earth and the Moon. They’re probably wrong as even NASA failed to comment on such claims but speculation leads to inquiry and inquiry leads to paper work and paper work, as many of you know very well, leads to bypasses and bypasses have to be built.


Studying the asteroid is likely to lead to a greater understanding of the creation of our solar system. Many asteroids are considered to be the last remains of debris from the birth of our dear mother Solaris. Questions such as “Why?” might even be answered.

It’s pretty important to know your neighbors. I’ve had some crazy ones. You know the type, the ones that sound like they’re speaking some form of goat language and have a garage, driveway, and lawn filled with “started-project-debris.” Well The earth’s neighbors are sort of like this too. There hard to follow, hard to find, could and have totally wreaked havoc upon all of earth’s systems, and we don’t know about a lot of them. Dr. David Rabinowitz, of Yale University says that up to 1000 of these neighbors are about a kilometer or larger in diameter. Kinda Scary.

Oh and then there’s all the technology that is inspired by NASA. With every new mission comes a wave of new gizmos and gadgets to make it possible. This feeds our global economy as companies around the world compete for NASA bids.

This mission is considered by some to be a major leg on the space road to mars and in general the preservation of the human race. Humans as a race have a lot of work cut out in order to survive the ever looming explosion of the Sun. Admittedly it is a bit far off. We’ve got around 5 billion years to come to terms with the death of everything we’ve come to love. On the happy side it is likely that the asteroid visit will aid in cultivating further deep space (9) exploration.

NASA plans for this mission to go down in 2025.