According to a recent report by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), one person could be killed every two years by satellites falling from space.
The FAA says it is worried about the space junk as it’s filled up with orbiting satellites. In the new report, the FAA says that by 2035m hundreds of satellites orbiting the Earth are full of fuel but not working as of now. Hence they could be hazardous when they fall.
Tracking is a must
Many satellites are launched but the tracking of the satellites is not monitored. Once the satellites stop working or the mission for which it is sent is completed, the satellites are ignored. Hence there is an increased danger of someone getting hurt when they fall.
Experts feel that tracking becomes all the important before someone gets hurt. According to a report from FOX 35 Orlando, “There are millions if not billions or trillions of objects which are untracked,” said Dr. Madhur Tiwari, an assistant professor of aerospace engineering at Florida Tech. Thankfully, Tiwari and his team are looking into a space clutter solution using artificial intelligence.
Tiwari said, “3D modeling of these debris fields, using machine learning and just vision. He assured that it’s going to happen on the spacecraft without any humans in the loop.”
The FAA is also concerned about the increase in clutter. It said, “the dramatic rise of non-geostationary satellites, particularly those in low earth orbit (LEO), poses an increased risk to people on Earth and aviation due to re-entering debris.”
The FAA report says, about 28,000 pieces of satellites could survive re-entry. This means one person on Earth could be injured or killed every two years by 2035. Tiwari added, “The problem with space is not just the amount, but the problem is also how fast they are moving.”
According to the report, there is another problem as the satellites are left behind in space. Mark Marquette, the community liaison with the American Space Museum in Titusville, Florida. He says “We’re getting a congestion problem up there as they get old de-orbit.” In addition to this, he feels that much more needs to be done as he sees the increase in orbiting satellites from his telescope.