The vast amount of manmade debris in orbit around Earth is untenable, but emerging and currently available technologies could be used to get these objects under control.
Humanity is generating space junk more quickly than the debris can fall back toward Earth naturally, putting satellites and spacecraft at risk of colliding with speeding pieces of debris. Unless something is done, the problem could get worse, said Donald Kessler, retired head of NASA’s Orbital Debris Program Office. Reported today NASA May Slam Captured Asteroid into Moon Eventually | read more Space.com.
Why Do We Go to Space?
ritholtz ask: Why do we go to space? In the beginning of our space program, the answer had a lot to do with war and paranoia. But with the dawn of the space shuttle, that all changed. Where do we go from here?
On Planet Earth – Our World
Great Pacific Garbage Patch, Pacific Ocean
Stretching for hundreds of miles, and possibly the size of Texas, the giant migrating mass also known as the Pacific Trash Vortex can be seen in patches floating along the Pacific Ocean; more by takepart
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produces about 4.4 pounds of garbage a day.
Forest of Peace – team say:
We don’t know what the world will be like in 20 years, to say nothing of in 100 years.
To pick up; Miles beneath the sea surface, buried beneath the seafloor sediment, a relatively unstudied ecosystem of bacteria and other microbes teems with activity in the Earth’s oceanic crust. Some scientists think this system could hold the largest reservoir of life on Earth, but direct measurements from the difficult-to-reach region remain scarce. Microbes in Earth’s Oceanic Crust Gobble Oxygen | on LiveScience
The Price of Poverty: Playgrounds Every Child Should Leave Behind
If the mortality rate of a species does not increase after maturity, the species does not age and is said to be biologically immortal. There are many examples of plants and animals for which the mortality rate actually decreases with age, for all or part of the life cycle.
If the mortality rate remains constant, the rate determines the mean lifespan. The lifespan can be long or short, even though the species technically “does not age”.
- Sanicula is a herb, native to Europe and the Americas, which lives about 70 years in the wild. Old saniculae do not die at a higher rate than younger ones.
- Sea urchins, lobsters and some clams have relatively high rates of mortality in the ocean, but mortality does not appear to increase with age.
- Hydras were observed, in a study published in the journal Experimental Gerontology, for four years without any increase in mortality rate.
There are stranger examples of species that have been observed to regress to a larval state and regrow into adults multiple times:
- The Hydrozoan species Turritopsis nutricula is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again. This means that there may be no natural limit to its life span. However, no single specimen has been observed for any extended period, and it is impossible to estimate the age of a specimen.
- The larvae of carrion beetles have been made to undergo a degree of “reversed development” when starved, and later to grow back to the previously attained level of maturity. The cycle can be repeated many times.