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Why space is becoming a more dangerous place for business



OneWeb does not want to add to the garbage problem, said Wyler to CNN Business, so he is committed to removing his companions after they finish their work. He said he thinks about the debris problem as he thinks about environmental issues.

"There are so many ideas for satellites that are done without full attention to the full cycle of the system: What happens to a plastic bottle when it's cast into the ocean?" He said. "It's the same problem, it's only on a different scale."

The number of satellites in our sky is expected to increase more than three times over the next decade as more than 7,000 new devices are added, according to one estimate.

Experts fear that when space becomes more overcrowded, collisions can lead to catastrophic chain reactions. This may mean ending research, GPS services, satellite TV, Internet and telephone services to millions of people.

OneWeb's satellites will retain enough fuel to get back into the atmosphere of the Earth at the end of their lives. And Wyler said they would also be equipped with extra hardware that could make it easier for the grappling hook to break and disconnect sleeping satellites out of orbit.

"These are expensive" technologies, he said. "But they are things that we just have to do to be good citizens."

It will take more than 2,000 years for Earth's gravity to pull OneWeb's satellites out of orbit if they stay alone at the end of their lives. But OneWeb promised to desorb them within five years after they left the internet.

A recent NASA study suggests that all satellite operators will have to adopt this standard to reduce the risk of cataclysms.

Wyler said he is happy that OneWeb supporters, including corporate giants such as Softbank and Coca-Cola, have

There is also a business stimulus: Keeping clean orbital planes will be essential for companies like OneWeb, billion dollars in their constellations, according to Shagun Sachdeva, a North Sky analyst who has studied megaconstelations and orbital debris management

A big question is whether the wider, cost-conscious private sector will invest in adding technology to their satellites .

There are no penalties for companies that do not comply with NASA's recommendations or the much narrower international guidelines that need to be de-absorbed within 25 years of their suspension.

"Everyone sees space waste as a big problem," Sachdeva said. The question is whether enough will be done to prevent the disaster.


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