Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Trash in Space
Name: Jennifer L Wingort
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
Someone told me that it is O.K. to develop a way to put trash into space because space is never ending. First of all, do you think space is really never ending? It seems like we always seem to use up what we have, so I cannot imagine that we would not eventually run out of "space" also. I am also wondering what research has been done, and what plans have been made in regards to putting waste in space.



Replies:
Space is very large compared to Earth. Even if we "threw away" the whole planet, it would be a tiny speck in the vastness of space. There are probably lots of planets orbiting other stars, but we cannot even see them. There is no danger of filling space with junk. Now there is a problem with filling Earth orbit with junk, because Earth orbit is a fairly small region of space. But it takes so much energy to get into Earth orbit that it will never be a practical junk heap. We are not even sure it is worth the cost of putting a space station up there, let alone a pile of garbage. Garbage on Earth is something we are just going to have to learn to live with.

Mortis



Click here to return to the Environmental Science

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory