By Daniel Mark Carr
Adding yet another superlative to its ever growing “World’s leading” list, China has now been declared the world’s leading “space polluter.”
The environmental impact of China’s booming economy is well documented, but now, Russian Federal Space Agency, Roscosmos has reported that 40% of the ‘space junk’ orbiting the Earth is thanks to China. Second in the list of contributors is the US, closely followed by Russia; who combined contributed roughly 50%.
The majority of China’s ‘space junk’ is down to the deliberate destruction of the weather satellite Fengyun-1C, which was shot by a missile in 2007. On impact, the weather station burst in to 2,841 pieces. (Whoever sat with a telescope and counted the pieces definitely deserves a medal!). This debris rocketed China to the top of the league table of “Space Polluters.”
And we can look forward to more: China now has ambitious plans to build its own manned space station. Called the Tiangong-1, it’s set to launch next year.