Russia Invests $2 Billion to Clean Up Space Waste

Whether you’re environmentally conscious or not, you should at least be aware that there’s a corner of the Pacific Ocean that’s basically a floating dumpster. It’s called the Great Pacific Garbage Patch—or Pacific Trash Vortex—and it’s said to be as large as Texas. In the patch, you’ll find a delightful concentration of plastics, chemical sludge, litter, debris, trash, and other shit trapped by the swirling currents of the North Pacific Gyre. Pretty disgusting. What’s worse is that the same thing apparently exists in outer space. “Space waste” is everything from defunct satellites to motor fuel slag and paint flakes, just floating around in Earth’s orbit. If any of our spaceships run into large chunks of space waste, the collision could cost millions of dollars and/or lives. Oh, and it turns out that whole celestial situation might cause a mysterious ball of lightning some day. Thankfully, Russia has decided to step up and take charge of our galactic waste.

Russia’s space corporation, Energia, recently said they plan invest $2 billion to build a space pod that will knock the junk out of orbit, away from Earth. It turns out this cosmonaut pod could help reopen orbits that are currently inaccessible to future spacecraft due to the amount of shredded metal and empty hulls of dead satellites floating around. I have to applaud Russia for manning up, here. And because it looks like they can easily toss around a cool $2 billion to clean up our galaxy, maybe they should consider investing in making their food taste good.