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Environmental Problems Related To Space Activities

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Chapter Summary

The most prominent environmental problem connected with space activities is space debris. The spectrum of radio frequencies and geostationary orbit (GEO) are two unavoidable natural components of communication by satellite and has been designated scarce natural resources. A problem closely connected with that of space debris is the threat of nuclear contamination. A major source of such contamination in outer space would be accidental satellite collisions and explosions that create nuclear space debris and radiation. Solar power satellites may, however, have serious impacts on the space environment, and the possible transmission of solar power to Earth may not only harm the ozone layer but also impact life on the surface of the globe directly. Another new source of hazards worth mentioning is manned space stations, which can compound the detrimental effects of space activities in their vicinity due to the simple fact that they are stationary.

Keywords:environmental problem; geostationary orbit (GEO); manned space stations; nuclear contamination; ozone layer; Solar power satellites; space debris



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