Last week, the US Federal Communications Commission reduced the term that space agencies and private companies can leave orbital debris in place from 25 years to five. Though the rule was declared without support from NASA or Congress, it will be in effect for “anyone who wants to launch a satellite that needs a license from the agency to use a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum for communication,” according to Wired. Orbital pollution can be addressed in two ways: moving it into a lower orbit so that it can fall into (and burn up within) Earth’s atmosphere or by developing cleanup technologies specifically for space trash. The FCC has been met with resistance, and space agencies strongly support the 25-year rule. Read about the increasing dangers of space junk and more at Wired.
Artistic rendering courtesy of National Geographic