News follows the poem:
Stuff orbits the Earth like a swarm of gnats
Every satellite we send
Turns into space junk in the end
Runs out of batteries and fuel,
Orbits decay, a physics rule.
It may break up,
It may crash down,
Strike other craft,
Or hit your town.
Will a loose bolt
Cause a war
When one of mine
Runs into yours?
Perhaps an artificial moon
Will light your streets
The space above us
Once seemed grand.
No need to plan.
Who gets to choose?
What uses should?
Profits? or spies?
What’s public good?
I’ve rhymed about space junk and apparently limitless natural resources before.
The news is longer than today’s rhyme. Maybe a Space Sanitation Force is what we need:
City officials recently announced plans to build an artificial moon, launching it to hang over Sichuan province’s capital city by 2020, Chinese news site People’s Daily Online (PDO) reported… [it] will be eight times brighter than the natural satellite.
Regarding concerns about the Chinese artificial moon interfering with astronomical observations or disrupting animals that are active at night, Kang Weimin, the director of the Institute of Optics of the Harbin Institute of Technology in China, said that the light would amount to only a “dusk-like glow,” PDO reported.
However, research has shown that many animals are highly sensitive to the light and phases of the moon. livescience.com
What belongs in space? What deserves a spot in our crowded orbit? Is your opinion different if what’s launched is called art?
There are more than 1,800 active satellites currently in orbit around Earth, carrying out a myriad of jobs: collecting weather data, helping drivers navigate roads, spying on enemy targets, the list goes on.
[Soon, SpaceX will carry a CubeSat into orbit. When the] CubeSat reaches a point about 350 miles above Earth, it will break open. Its silver, plasticlike contents will then unfurl into a 100-foot-long sculpture in the shape of a diamond. The result is called Orbital Reflector, the work of the artist Trevor Paglen… The sculpture reminds some astronomers of another satellite, launched in January: the Humanity Star, a three-foot-tall spherical object built by the U.S. spaceflight company Rocket Lab and covered in dozens of highly reflective panels. Its purpose, too, was simply to be seen from Earth. theatlantic.com