Our Space Junk Problem: Educating Ourselves for the Future

Posted on March 16, 2017 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

Space, the final frontier, a place so pristine and untouched by humans, right?

Image: a diagram of the debris around the earth illustrating our space junk problem
Source: NASA Orbital Debris Program Office // Wikimedia

Humanity has a bit of trouble when it comes to cleaning up out of ourselves.

It seems we are constantly having to shift course around our own messes. Perhaps, as we turn our gaze upward, we can avoid some of the perils we have found ourselves in here on earth. In order to do that, though, we have to know where we stand right now.

As it turns out, space isn’t nearly as pristine as we may imagine. Even after this relatively short period of space exploration, our planet is already surrounded by space junk!

For a deeper look at the debris orbiting our planet and what we are doing about it, we share with you this great video from It’s Okay to be Smart.

Influencing the future…

I share this video because I believe it is critical that issues like space junk are common knowledge. We can’t influence the future of space travel and exploration to be more conscientious unless we are aware of the problem.

Like so many things out there, unless we shine a spotlight on an issue or make it widely known we can’t have a positive impact on it or demand change.

Looking towards the stars as a frontier, it is critical we see the seemingly vast sky as a limited resource. As our horizons expand, we tend to believe the resources they offer are unlimited. It is vital we don’t continue to pawn our junk off to the next generation.

Think of all the effort we have to put into fixing the problems left behind for or predecessors. From the great pacific garbage patch, to rewilding, to massive recycling campaigns, how far would we be if we did things “right” the first time?

The more we question the world around us, the more engaged we become, and the more influence we can have.

Stay beautiful & keep laughing!

-Liesl

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