Astronomy 3/21/13 Deep Space Disposal “Why not just get rid of radioactive waste and other trash by simply shooting it into space? ” This question has passed peoples lips before but has never been a major subject. I personally think that this would work perfectly; it would eliminate the need to dispose of trash in other, more harmful ways. It would also reduce the litter and trash that is literally covering our planet. Sure there are facilities that specialize in getting rid of trash. There are even whole companies whose job it is to eliminate trash.
But how fast are they going? Are these efforts by various groups enough to stop or even stem the flow of trash from all branches of the consumer markets? Simply blasting all the trash into deep space could possibly eliminate these factors and dispose of the trash and toxic waste in a way that would not even harm anything on Earth. The process wouldn’t even use human involvement; computers can determine the course of trash if it is done right and safely dispose of it far enough away from Earth to be forgotten about.
Blasting trash and toxic/radioactive waste into the endless void known as space would benefit our planet’s surface by keeping it cleaner as well as our planets atmosphere. A very large percentage of the Earths population does not even know where their trash goes once it is out of their house, hand, or possession. If somebody throws a piece of trash on the ground where does it end up? Once trash is disposed of it usually ends up in one of two major places. It ends up in either some type of factory that burns up trash or it ends up in a landfill/ junkyard to just sit there and be harmful.
Trash that ends up in factories that burns it to get rid of it becomes toxic in the form of smoke. When anything burns it lets off smoke, so what happens if something toxic such as plastic burns? Well, when toxic things burn they produce toxic smoke that than rises into the sky. That exact toxic smoke can be inhaled by humans and animals. When this happens it is possible that the smoke can cause long term and short term effects such as asthma to humans. Other irregularities can occur from breathing in toxic smoke as well. Not only ould the smoke be harmful to Earths living humans and creatures but it would also be harmful to our beautiful planet as a whole. When smoke is released where does it go? It goes straight up into the atmosphere where it stays there in the form of planetary pollution. This in turn leads to what is possibly going on now; our planet is so polluted it is starting to directly affect our temperature, trapping hot air in Earth’s atmosphere with a thick layer of pollution. Now the other way to dispose of trash mentioned above is piling it into landfills.
Landfills are usually safe due to strict regulation by our government, but there is no complete harmless, perfectly sanitary and safe way to dispose of trash. A landfill is pretty much a massive pile of trash collected and stored, usually outdoors, simply because there is nothing else to do with the trash. Although the trash has been crushed and is being maintained in one area, it still possesses a threat to wild life. Animals can also become curious about landfills and be harmed, there are plenty of smells and sights that could potentially attract animals. Birds especially are heavily impacted by trash.
Birds eat trash and then that trash just sits in their stomach causing complications and eventually they die. Also birds and other animals can be strangled by exploring trash or choke on trash lodged in their mouths. All these problems can be avoided by simply blasting it all into space where it will not affect animals, humans, or our atmosphere. Outer space is a big place, where exactly would all the trash go? Well, if the trash and toxic waste were blasted far enough into space nobody would even know the answer to that question exactly, deep space is a mysterious place that is still being explored and researched.
Human generated trash is not resistant to the tests of time so it would eventually decay from natural causes. If this doesn’t occur first than meteors could completely destroy the trash by burning it the second the two come in contact< once the trash travels far enough into space. Also in deep space there are other phenomenon’s that would easily destroy the trash without out any difficulties. I do not think a grouping of trash in space could withstand the massive force of something such as a super nova or any other type of nova.
A nova releases so much explosive force, power and heat that there is no way any trash in the area could withstand it. The trash would disintegrate and become nothing but a memory. Also there are things in space that have such a big gravitational pull the trash wouldn’t even stand a chance. Massive objects would simply attract the smaller trash at such a force that the trash would slam into the objects and either become stuck, part of the object, or be turned to dust by impact. One such example of an object could be a planet past Earth that the trash is directed towards.
If one of our solar systems superheated gas planets were to attract trash ejected into deep space the trash would probably burn before it even comes into contact with the planet. Some of our hottest planets give off so much heat that just coming close to them would burn up the trash instantly. Now, if the trash were ejected towards the sun it would have to make it past the few planets between Earth and the Sun before it got there. But what does the sun do? It gives off uncontainable amounts of heat that instantly disintegrates anything that comes in contact with it or gets close.
Human trash and human waste could definitely not withstand the mighty force the sun has. Trash would burn up and disintegrate a long distance from the Sun from the heat it lets off. But before trash could even get close to the sun it would have to bypass asteroids hurtling through space that would absolutely destroy any trash in its way. Anything that is composed of matter has an unseen force called gravity, which is basically just the push and pull effect objects have on each other. Trash has matter so therefore trash would be subject to the forces of gravity.
With this being said, another possible outcome of trash being launched or ejected into space would be that said trash becomes an orbiting mass around another bigger object. Say the trash was ejected into not deep space but within Earth’s atmosphere, towards our single moon. Compared to Earth the moon is not big but compared to humans it is massive. And therefore if it’s big to humans than trash and human waste is miniscule compared to our planets moon. So this would lead to the moon potentially capturing the trash in its gravitational pull and holding there in orbit.
Trash orbiting the moon could crash into each other, burn up from fiery hot asteroids or be destroyed in other various space happenings such as surrounding space phenomenon’s. Although this may be a solution, launching trash into Earth’s atmosphere could be disastrous, that could easily cause more harm than good. Launching trash into Earths outer atmosphere would only take the problems of pollution from the inner atmosphere and make it less of a threat, not eliminating it all together.
Trash in Earth’s atmosphere could easily fall out of orbit and come falling back down to Earth, possessing threats that people don’t even want to think of; this is why the trash needs to be disposed of into DEEP space, away from the reaches of Earth’s atmosphere. Massive property loss, loss of human life or losses of animal life are all outcomes of falling atmosphere trash. Just like sea and land disposal of trash, it always finds a way to move from where it is first put. If trash were put into Earth’s atmosphere it would not stay put.
It would move around from the force of gravity, wind, and solar storms. Now if this waste in our atmosphere were toxic or radioactive, that just adds to the problems and fear of trash above our heads. If toxic and radioactive waste were to be ejected from our atmosphere, who’s to say it wouldn’t end up back down on Earth like was mentioned above. If toxic waste were to fall in a populated are the results would be devastating. Possibilities include massive loss of life and, depending on the area, massive loss of nature as well.
Neither one of those things are replaceable. Yet both problems can be avoided by launching the trash into deep space, way past our atmosphere and way past the point where it poses a threat to us. Also the trash that fall back down to Earth’s surface could land exactly where we don’t want it; in the Ocean. If trash were to fall from the sky and consistently land in the ocean our water ecosystem could be diminished, and for a species that partly relies on the ocean for survival and protection, the results could be devastating.
Everybody would feel better without knowing that there are thousands of radioactive and toxic asteroids flying above them. Which is why blasting the trash into deep space, past our atmosphere makes a lot more sense than into Earths atmosphere. Ejecting trash into Earth’s atmosphere also would pose a threat to our technological world. No country would feel productive putting satellites or other types of technology into Earth’s atmosphere if there’s a high chance it could be disrupted or even destroyed by orbiting trash.
Radio satellites would be affected as well as satellites used to take images of Earth’s surface and study the planet we live on, they could come in contact with the trash and be damaged or destroyed. Also the trash could interfere with the task the satellites are in out atmosphere to perform. All these problems aren’t even factors when the trash is ejected far enough into space where it doesn’t pose a threat. In order for all this to become possible a lot of things would need to change in our world.
First of all our government would need to find a way to supply NASA with the necessary money to both research all these outcomes and to fund the materials needed to safely launch trash, both toxic and un-toxic, into deep space. This would be a difficult task on its own because constant trash being ejected into space would require both a lot of force and a lot of time and money management. It costs billions of dollars to construct and launch a full sized rocket ship into space so that’s definitely out of the question.
Also containment of the trash and toxic materials until it is deep enough in space to be released safely to Earth would be tricky. There are solutions though. Instead of building a full size rocket just build a bunch of small ones that are completely empty, except for them carrying trash. Give the smaller rocket ships just enough fuel to make it to their destination to save money and conserve weight for more trash. These rockets could have specially designed hatches that are controlled from base down on Earth that release the trash at set locations.
This way the distance the trash travels can be moderated to where certain trash can be let loose into deep space closer to Earth and more harmful trash could be released farther from Earth. Another possibility with rockets controlled from Earth would be to simply crash them into a planet or direct the rockets so close to the Sun that they just simply burn up along with the trash inside them. Without the rockets being controlled by humans inside them, they could go a lot farther than Earth’s atmosphere as well.
The possibilities for the distance the trash can be ejected into deep space is almost endless. Radioactive and toxic waste could be ejected so far away from Earth that nobody could go against the process. It might cost billions of dollars but at the same time Earth has limited space. Outer space as no discovered end, which potentially allows for thousands of years of trash to be dumped into it in a safe, sanitary way without the risk of running out of space. Not only would massive amounts of money be used on the actual construction of the rockets but also the people designing and creating them.
Scientists would have to do many hours of extra research and that would also cost money. Throwing the costs aside, the results would be a solution to an ever-lasting problem and a steady human and environmental threat. Launching trash into not space, but DEEP space would benefit our people and our environment. It would be costly but like most costly things it would be very effective and solve the problems of pollution, animals dying from human trash, and the space that landfills can take could be directed to more prosperous projects such as malls and houses.
Launching trash into deep space would protect our animal life by not giving them things to choke on or get strangled with such as birds with plastic as discussed above. This idea would also make for a cleaner looking planet and people would be proud of where they live. Not only would it be helpful but it would be a great human endeavor that America could be proud of. All in all launching trash into deep space makes sense and protects are beautiful planet, Earth.