Since the dawn of the Space Age in 1957, thousands of artificial satellites have been launched and only around 1,000 are still in operation. Through these years, many space vehicles were launched with astronauts on board, such as Apollo space crafts, Skylab, Soyuz and space shuttles, to carry out various missions. These space vehicles also left huge amounts of mission-related objects like cast-off bolts, connected rings, rockets debris, left-over fuel, and so on. Together with the malfunctioned satellites, all became space junk, creating an orbiting junkyard of cast-off space debris.
Each of these little pieces of debris whizzes around in its own orbit at a speed of about 10 km a second -- more than six times faster than a speeding bullet. The kinetic energy at that speed is about 36 times that of an equivalent mass of TNT. The tragic consequence caused by these orbiting debris was later known as ˇ§The Kessler Syndromeˇ¨ after Donald Kessler, the ex-head of NASA's Orbital Debris Office. Kessler had predicted that random collisions among these manmade objects would produce debris more dangerous than natural meteoroids in space. The resulting chain reaction would create exponentially clouds of debris and it would seriously affect our daily live and also endanger human life.
Starting from 1 January 2013, a new
3D Omnimax Show ˇ§Space Junk 3Dˇ¨ will guide the audience to the Earth orbits, witnessing the heavy traffic where satellites constantly crossing each otherˇ¦s paths within a short distance. This can happen around 1,500 times a day. And we shall see how scientists devised new schemes to clean up space. Modern civilization relies heavily on satellites: GPS, weather forecast, financial trading, satellite TV and other aspects of living are examples of our profound linkage to the space. The alarming fact is: we have created a mine field in space and we are treading on it everyday.