SpaceX’s New Launch Might Damage the Environment, Researchers Claim
SpaceX is constructing an enormous mega constellation of internet satellites and researchers are pondering over its environmental impacts. Evidently, with the growing number of orbital launches from companies like Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, NASA and including China’s space program, the cadence of space launches may soon turn into a regular occurrence, which once again begs the question – “What are we going to do about the harmful impact of these venture on the ecology?”
Moreover, Elon Musk’s SpaceX practice “test, fly, fail, fix and repeat” technique for its commercial space program while shows resilience, can harm the surrounding ecosystems a lot. It is one of the reasons why Musk wanted to make the launch site on a tract of land close to the Gulf of Mexico, which is near to the Texas border with Mexico.
In a 2018 press conference Musk reportedly said that they’ve acquired a lot of land with nobody around, so even if it blows up, it’s cool. According to many experts, the company’s new space launch might contribute to massive carbon emissions.
David Newstead, director of the nonprofit Coastal Bend Bays and Estuaries, said that he felt sickening as he saw the fireball explode on the launchpad. The explosion bestrewed the parts of the ecosystem of the Boca Chica territory of the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Ian Whittaker, a lecturer in space physics at Nottingham Trent University in the U.K. says;
While we do obviously need space launches and satellites, when it comes to things like space tourism, you start thinking about the environmental impact.
Researchers are clamoring to figure out the earth’s reaction toward more rising plumes by rocket exhaust through analyzing the complete merger of carbon dioxide, soot, alumina and other particles collectively discharged by an increasing variety of rockets. These discharges consequently exacerbate the climate crisis.
Some have suggested that stratospheric planes could directly take samples from rocket plumes to know what exactly they’re releasing, while supercomputers are apt to run inclusive simulations which would determine the levels and types of space activity to be conducted safely.
Some researchers claim that they do not want any progress in the areas that involve environmental degradation. Now what remains to see is that how SpaceX establishes its mission while keeping the environment safe.