Marla Geha, The race is on to erase space junk

Millions of man-made debris and naturally occurring micrometeoroids orbit in and around Earth's space environment at hypervelocity speeds averaging 10 km/s (22,000 mph). This "space junk" collides with spacecraft and satellites potentially causing serious damage or catastrophic failure. (Image courtesy of NASA)
November 30, 2021

Marla Geha, professor of astronomy, with a secondary appointment in physics, was featured in Yale News (Jim Shelton, Nov. 30, 2021), “The race is on to erase space junk”.

Astrophysicist Marla Geha has been doing some trash talking lately.

Nothing unseemly or untoward, to be sure. Just friendly reminders that orbiting garbage is starting to clog up Earth’s satellite lanes like a halo of space waste.
Geha, a professor of astronomy in Yale’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences, recently agreed to be a judge for the Clear Constellation competition, in which teams of college undergraduates will submit designs for innovative ways to remove space debris. Rubicon, a software company specializing in waste removal and recycling, is sponsoring the competition and offering a $100,000 first prize.

Geha spoke with Yale News about the contest, the extent of the space junk problem, and the need for solutions.

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