Questions tagged [space-debris]

For questions involving things like man-made space junk and other unwelcome material that may pose a threat to spacecraft. Consider combining with related tags such as [orbital-mechanics] or [space-travel].

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32
votes
10answers
7k views

How can solar sailed ships be protected from space debris?

So we all know that interstellar starships that travel at high relativistic speeds, like 50% c or above, would be very susceptible to getting destroyed just by a grain of salt hitting it during travel....
8
votes
3answers
241 views

Can space debris be used as a heat sink for re-entry?

In the world I'm building, a nuclear war and subsequent repressive chaos have led all satellites to be destroyed by the powers that be, around 10 years from now. A few years later, a small spacecraft, ...
5
votes
4answers
313 views

If a generations ship was destroyed while in low Eath orbit (LEO), would debris fall to the surface?

I understand there are a lot of factors to consider here, but would it be possible for material from the ship's destruction to fall to earth and cause significant damage to a city? What is a ...
9
votes
13answers
467 views

How to Effectively Collect and Recycle Space Junk?

The Question What would be an efficient and relatively low-cost solution for collecting and recycling of space junk? The most important criterion of effectiveness is the ability to remove even small ...
2
votes
4answers
187 views

Can a satellite a little bigger than the ISS be disguised as space debris?

Say we have a fascist government that plans to use a kinetic strike weapon upon another country, but in this world, the Outer Space Treaty has been refined to not only include forbidding WMD's in ...
10
votes
3answers
228 views

Space station debris

What happens to small pieces of debris left floating around inside a derelict space station? My space station had 100 people aboard, and due to sabotage, it decompressed and was abandoned. Inside, ...
28
votes
6answers
6k views

Could burning debris keep burning in space?

To have a fire you need three things: oxygen, heat and flammable material, therefore the cold vacuum of space is the last place you would expect something to burn. I was, however, wondering if a very ...
3
votes
2answers
160 views

Would ablation be an effective way to redirect objects in space?

So I'm writing a story set in the close(ish) future(say 2130), and space debris is starting to be a real problem. Stations in orbit are constantly having to maneuver out of the paths of orbital debris,...
4
votes
1answer
156 views

Avoiding Space Debris [duplicate]

It occurred to me the other day that when a spaceship is travelling at near relativistic speeds, encountering a tiny rock could rip it apart. What could be done to protect from such incidents ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Blocking sunlight using space debris

Can large amount space debris be used to block sunlight from falling in a particular land area (about the size of Hawaiian islands)? If so, how much space debris will be required? What will be the ...