Can Lady Gaga Save Spaceflight?

A few week ago, I told you that Lady Gaga would be the first entertainer to give a concert, although brief, from orbit.  It turns out that her, and other, Pop music might just save spaceflights in the future.

Researchers from Curtin University in Western Australia have used radio waves generated by local stations to track objects orbiting the Earth.

Using information from the Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) the team was able to track many objects simultaneously.

Professor Steven Tingay, Director of the MWA at Curtin University and Chief Investigator in the Australian Research Council Centre for All-sky Astrophysics (CAASTRO) said the MWA will be able to detect the space junk by listening in to the radio signals generated by radio stations.

The ability to track a large amount of space junk simultaneously is important due to the ever shifting orbits and collisions that happen above our heads on a daily basis.  The junk is a hazard to all intact space vehicles.

For instance, the International Space Station (ISS) travels at 4.791 miles/s (7.71 km/s) or 17,100 mph (27,600 km/h).  The craft orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes or so.  Running into anything at that speed is going to be bad.

With all the new commercial space flights just starting to take off, the amount of debris is a navigation hazard, but if it is tracked, the danger can be greatly decreased.

 

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

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