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Why We Can’t Just Shoot Our Garbage Into Space

When some people look up at the stars, they do not see opportunities for exploration or discovery, but rather a very convenient and seemingly endless dump for all the waste accumulated on Earth. Although anyone who works in astronomy could explain why it is an unfeasible idea, people continue to wonder why we can’t just shoot our garbage into space. Read on to learn why a “space dump” will remain a fantasy.

Why We Can’t Just Shoot Our Garbage Into Space

We Do Not Have the Infrastructure

To put it simply, as a planet we do not have enough launch pads, spaceports, or rockets to send all our trash into space. We do not even have the resources to consistently send a fraction of our trash into space. If we were to ever take on a project like this, the human race would need to see massive changes in their infrastructure.

 

The Trash Must Go Into the Sun

It may come as a surprise to learn that planet Earth has already left trash in our orbit, and our experience with this practice is largely why we can’t just shoot garbage into space. The trash we have in space is made up of rockets and satellites, leftovers from our many missions.

This garbage, or space debris, is moving around Earth at such high speeds that it threatens to rip through whatever it comes across, including astronauts on spacewalks. A U.S. agency called the Space Surveillance Network (SSN) follows the space debris so they can send warnings about possible collisions.

If the human race were to throw more trash into space, it would be dangerous to carelessly leave it in orbit. The only other solution would be to send the trash into the sun.

 

Cost Per Flight Is Too High

Even if we were able to build the infrastructure to carry vast amounts of trash into the sun, there is still the issue of the cost per flight. It is expensive to refuel and prepare a ship, that is assuming we can even create technology that allows ships to reenter the atmosphere.

As it currently stands, it is just not technologically or economically feasible to bring trash into space. Though sending garbage into the cosmos seems like a quick solution to a massive problem, we still must work with tried-and-true responsible waste management methods.

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