We’re so good at creating trash that we’ve started putting useless junk into space, too.

picture: NASA

I have become convinced that the truth is Incredible amount of trash It is launched into space in Regularly It will become one of the world’s greatest problems in our lifetime. According to UN estimates, The amount of stuff a person puts into space Between 2019 and today (8815 pieces) the total number exceeds things that have been put into space Between the beginning of human space exploration in 1957 and 2018 (8,448 objects). The amount of space debris launched into orbit has increased dramatically. In the past five years and Shows no sign of slowing down.

These objects include satellites, probes, landers, manned spacecraft flight elements, and space stations. Any object launched into space that does not intend to return is considered a space object.It’s more appropriate to call it junk, if you ask me.

This chart is from Our world in dataI found on my desk data compiled from the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, and I was absolutely stunned by the year-on-year growth in the amount of space objects we are throwing at the stars. Surely this can’t be good. You can see from the information presented here that while many countries have shown an increasing rate of activity in recent years, the United States is responsible for the lion’s share of the recent increases. There must be more to this. Why is the United States launching more objects into space than in previous years?

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Graph: Our world in data

It always comes back to Elon Musk. That’s right, almost all of this giant leap into space was put there by the world-famous satellite. Sexual harassment company SpaceX.. The richest man in the world launches thousands of satellites into space? Doesn’t this sound more like a James Bond plot than real?

By some estimates, SpaceX launches about 90 percent of everything the United States launches into space, and the United States is responsible for more than 80 percent of what Earth launches into space. Of course we are. Why wouldn’t we be? In 2023 alone, SpaceX attempted 98 of the world’s 223 orbital launches, leaving a whole bunch of stuff in its wake in the process. The company currently has 5,420 Starlink satellites in orbit, and plans to increase that number to more than 12,000 in the coming years.

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