The first clean-up crew was sent into space in March in an effort to retrieve what humans have left behind. It’s a big task! Currentl,y there are 3,000 inactive satellites and 900,000 pieces of Earth-made debris just chilling out there in the final frontier.
Space debris can travel at 25,000 miles per hour so it is dangerous pollution. The ELSA-d mission is a pilot program to capture and safely remove this debris from orbit using magnetic retrieval. The craft launched from Kazakhstan and was created by a Japanese company called Astroscale. The rocket is currently running tests in which it captures space debris, deliberately loses it, and then tries to re-capture it again. The goal is to collect all this space junk and then send it back to Earth where it will burn up upon re-entry into the atmosphere.
Surely someone has thought to study how this affects the Earth’s atmosphere, right? Please say yes!