One of the tasks of SpaceX’s Starship would be cleaning up the Earth orbit. This will happen when it is not carrying people to Mars or the moon. If all goes as planned, Starship tasks will be to carry spacecraft into orbit, gathering and deorbiting huge segments of space junk, and introducing people to distant cosmic locales. Speaking during an interview with Time Magazine, Shotwell Gwynne, chief operating officer, and SpaceX president, said that clean-up activities are expected to start soon. The online talk took place on October 22. 

After establishing the 165-foot-tall Starship satellite to orbit, Super Heavy, the system’s giant rocket, will come back to Earth. Starship is expected to carry out many tasks into the air. This means it will launch a lot of missions from Earth orbit to Mars. Shotwell told Lucas Patrick, Time technology columnist, that she knows it will not be easy, but she believes Starship has the potential to do that and is excited about it. 

A growing problem

Many experts have expressed their concern about space junk. They say that space junk has a severe risk to humanity’s exploration and use of space. Over 34,000 objects with a diameter of 4-inch are going around the Earth. This is according to a report released by the European Space Agency. 

It is essential to note that the cost of designing, producing, and launching spacecraft has come down. The orbital space lanes are becoming more congested. The greatest fear is that a space-junk cascade can get spawn, producing a lot of debris, which can collide further. This situation is called Kessler Syndrome, and it can make orbital operations hard if it occurs. Therefore, many experts are advocating that the spaceflight community commence mitigation measures as soon as possible. 

Orbital collisions have already been witnessed. For example, in 2009, February, Kosmos 2251, a Russian military spacecraft moved into the operational communications spacecraft Iridium 33 and spawned over 1800 pieces of debris. 

SpaceX is the giant Earth orbit’s driver that increases its population from time to time. For instance, it has launched around 900Starlink internet satellites to low orbit. For this reason, the company is lowering the constellation’s operational altitude. SpaceX’s planned to fly the first-generation Starlink between 1100 and 1325 kilometres. Starlink’s standard operating procedure by SpaceX is deorbiting every spacecraft before its death. However, to fly 340 miles up offers some extent of failsafe.

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