Are you concerned about space junk?
Our latest poll asked this question and the results are shown in the pie chart to the left.
Here is my take on the results.
The people that answered "Yes, but not enough to increase funding" are most likely concerned about the current out of control government spending.
A good overview of the space debris problem can be viewed at http://youtu.be/2gTkoFJ2yIQ
The chart on the left is from a YouTube video which dramtically illustrates how the amount of space debris is rising over time.
How can space debris affect us all? Simple: We rely on satellites for our communication. One really bad crash of debris into a communication satellite could disrupt our cell phone networks, military communication, and GPS positioning would not be available for airplanes anymore. Life as we know it in the modern world would come to a halt.
The $millions we as a planet spend now on tracking, curbing, and eliminating space debris will save us $billions, if not $trillions, in the future.
NASA has a great site for their Orbital Debris Program Office. Not just man made debris can harm spacecraft. All spacecraft collide with very small particles and meteoroids.
How is The SETI Institute helping the situation? The Allen Telescope Array is involved in space sureillance with the Air Force, detecting satellites and debris. For more on this program see http://www.seti.org/afspc for more details.
I'd like to know if anyone has an alternative view. Do you have the point of view that this whole issue is overblown? If so, why? Please comment...