Viewing a single comment thread. View all comments

aecarol1 t1_it4aqhv wrote

This is terrifying. Many years ago a proposal was made on how to rapidly destroy every satellite in geosynchronous orbit. Launch a "moon probe" that will do a flyby of the moon, but the return trajectory would enter a retrotgrade geosynchronous orbit.

Once the orbit is entered, it simply gently blows up a payload of a million ball bearings. You now have a million pieces of debris going in a counter orbit at very high speed. It will destroy every single satellite in that orbit in 12 hours.

The idea is that a nation that did not depend on geosynchronous orbit could "level the playing field" against a nation that did make use of that.


igneousink t1_it4ijdp wrote

note to self: add "ball bearings taking out all modern conveniences" to things to worry about at 2 am


jqubed t1_it4ouu8 wrote

It’s so simple! Maybe you need a refresher course: it’s all ball bearings nowadays!


igneousink t1_it4qkxv wrote

where i live there is a ball bearing factory that has been a staple of the city for like 100 years and there's an actual display in the library commemorating them with like this elaborate shadow box thing

my adoptive dad used to design ball bearings and he had a lot to say about them

picture for reference


ikverhaar t1_it558vk wrote

>my adoptive dad used to design ball bearings and he had a lot to say about them

I know you're talking about the entire mechanism, but the first thing that popped into my head was just the spherical bearings. "Hey Johnny, have you figured out what our next bearings are gonna look like?" "Yes, I was thinking about perfectly spherical balls of metal, just like our thousand previous designs."


ddejong42 t1_it5iipy wrote

But what if you need ones that are exactly 3.7654mm in diameter? You're going to need Johnny then!


hiS_oWn t1_it5ufwz wrote

3.8mm? You've gone mad johnny! Mad!


ikverhaar t1_it6hnmz wrote

"Hey Johny, we need some 3,7654 mm bearings."

"Yeah, I was thinking of a design with perfectly smooth orbs with a diameter of 3,7654mm."

"Johny, you're revolutionary."


LillBur t1_it4urge wrote

I've always wondered who is designing this stuff. Something so innocuous that everyone uses . . . .

Thank him for his service for me


igneousink t1_it4w09z wrote

he died of COVID 😥

but he would have liked to hear something like that . . .

. . . and would then launch into an hour diatribe about the uselessness and temporary nature of current objects that we use everyday, his favorite topic

seriously tho, ball bearings are serious business and there's no such thing as a perfect sphere


LillBur t1_it4ycrv wrote

I'm sorry for our loss.

I've honestly always assumed these people are genius. It sounds like he had all the passion I imagined, I'm so happy to hear he enjoyed his time here. Man, such an uplift to me that I shared a temporary stay on this planet with him -- I really needed to hear about him.

Seriously, what a massive impact


igneousink t1_it506ox wrote

i was adopted when i was 19

i had never known "dad" before and there he was lol

the kind of guy that built a seaworthy canoe for a church thing when they were just looking for painted props haha

thank you for your kind words, i needed to hear those, too


adkhotsauce t1_it5pukz wrote

How do you adopt an adult?


BlueSkyFunGuy t1_it6gtf2 wrote

Through the same legal process of becoming a legal parent of a child, just with someone who's already independent rather than dependent on the state. You pick up the relevant papers at the courthouse, fill out the information and go through the submission process and eventually see a family court for a judge to sign off on it.

A lot of step-parents do it or sometimes people do it so their inheritance is passed on to a person and not the state, there are some heartwarming compilations of the former on youtube.


igneousink t1_it6lqj7 wrote

in my case my adoptive parents got a lawyer, they filed the paperwork and i was adopted (along with my younger sisters)

once the adoption went through, i got a new birth certificate with my adoptive parents listed as my legal parents rather than my biological ones


ImPickleRock t1_it4vtti wrote

Prepare that fetzer valve with 3 in 1 oil and gauze pads


LineChef t1_it5j6u9 wrote

Don’t tell me my business boy, I’m checkin’ the luggage!


CYAN_DEUTERIUM_IBIS t1_it66eg3 wrote

Even space ball bearings at ultra sonic speeds cannot ruin a truly heartfelt soup.


igneousink t1_it6lj9c wrote

a way better sentiment than "live laugh love"


[deleted] t1_it4kmbi wrote



saberline152 t1_it4milx wrote

those are in LEO tho?


koohikoo t1_it4oewi wrote

That’s correct, they aren’t really a major concern for space junk because they’re in quite low of an orbit, meaning Even if they explode, most of the debris will burn up in the atmosphere


thx1138- t1_it4opgw wrote

Not to mention they're designed to have short life spans and continually be replaced.


GlockAF t1_it4v7eh wrote

Altitude, geostationary orbit:

35,786 km (22,236 miles)

Altitude, Starlink orbit:

550 km (340 miles)


chadenright t1_it5r38l wrote

Spacex's satellites are intentionally short-lived and have a useful life of just five years. If someone went to the enormous trouble of knocking them all out, SpaceX could just launch a barebones service replacement on the next satellite full of replacements they were going to launch anyways.

Honestly, part of why I'm reluctant to commit to using Starlink is because it sounds like it has very high operating and maintenance costs for that reason. Sure, Musk has made space launches cheaper. Cheap enough to intentionally use short-lived satellites for long-term static services? I don't know....


StevenTM t1_it8aybo wrote

It's not the fact that a tree in the area surrounding your house means your internet cuts out..?


igneousink t1_it4l9f7 wrote

i find spacex to be concerning also


ClearlyCylindrical t1_it4rtjo wrote

How so?


igneousink t1_it4spoy wrote

specifically elon, i guess

the whole thing feels like an ego trip and yeah i get it, i guess i would be all out there too if i was rich, but there's a lax-ness that is concerning on his part


phred14 t1_it5bdnh wrote

I used to think of him as Heinlein's "D.D. Harriman" (The Man Who Sold the Moon) in real life. But the more he shoots his mouth off and pulls silly stunts, the more I think of his Mars ideas as the Ultimate Doomsday Prepper, with plans for an out of this world bunker - on Mars.

To be fair, he did more than anyone else to push acceptance of electric cars, to take them from boring to desirable. He also moved the launch business to re-usable and closer to commonplace.

But when he opens his mouth, it can make it hard to remember the good things.


nowakezones t1_it6qbpm wrote

Laxness like perfect execution, over and over and over again?

Elon has his personal flaws, but SpaceX is not one of them.


igneousink t1_it8d2xv wrote

You do have a point and I appreciate the commentary.

Gives me something to think about.


zeeblecroid t1_it4x54u wrote

> The idea is that a nation that did not depend on geosynchronous orbit could "level the playing field" against a nation that did make use of that.

The Venn diagram of "countries that don't need geosynchronous orbit" and "countries capable of launching spacecraft" contains no overlap whatsoever, even before getting into the fact that a country which took out the planet's geosynch satellite network wouldn't level the playing field as much as get leveled by everyone else on it.


audigex t1_it530fj wrote

That’s almost certainly true - but that’s only one angle on the original theory

The other angle is that a country which believes it’s adversary would be more disadvantaged by removing satellites, may choose to do so, again to level the playing field

Imagine you went to war, and both you and your enemy have an Air Force, but you can somehow stop all aircraft flying in the conflict zone. If their Air Force is much stronger than yours, you may choose to forego your Air Force in exchange for the greater prize of denying your enemy theirs


Bluemofia t1_it5fclp wrote

What you're suggesting isn't something trivially done like magically temporarily stop all aircraft flying for a strategic leveling. It's more akin to permanently destroying Geostationary orbit functionally forever.

This is more like the Matrix's "Let's blot out the Sun forever to get an advantage against the Machines" level decision. Maybe useful for this one battle, but then even if you win, you are worse off than just flat out losing conventionally.


audigex t1_it5fvml wrote

It is, but there’s always the possibility that a country finds itself in an existential war

If they believe this decision could be a factor in the life and death of themselves and their people/families etc then it’s not beyond question that they do it, on the basis of “if we don’t do it, we definitely die, if we do it, we probably die, let’s worry about the consequences later, if we don’t die”

They don’t have to use this weapon, even - but if you have it you can decide whether or not to use it. If you don’t have it, you can’t.

I very much doubt it would ever be used - I generally agree that any country with the ability to develop and deploy it, is probably advanced enough that they don’t really feel that they need it… but that won’t necessarily stop someone developing it “just in case”


Bluemofia t1_it5hi5u wrote

It's Mutually Assured Destruction lite. Sure, Kessler Syndrome in GEO is less instantly lethal, but the point about MAD isn't for half-measures. You go big or you go home.

If you suffer an existential threat, you don't merely inconvenince future generations by making weather satellites more inconvenient. You threaten to kill everyone in nuclear hellfire to prevent existential threats.


audigex t1_it5ih44 wrote

But if you haven’t yet reached nuclear hellfire, perhaps you do this as a statement while pointing out that it’s a symbol of your willingness to go nuclear if necessary

Overall the cost of this weapon would be pretty low, I’m just saying that I can see why a country might want it in their back pocket


Bluemofia t1_it5ldru wrote

You are either facing an existential threat, or you aren't. MAD isn't about winning, it's about making everyone, including yourself, lose.

If you aren't facing an existential threat, you don't destroy something valuable to neutral and allied nations permanently just to get some temporary advantage or "to show you are serious". Destroying common resources permanently only pisses off others unrelated to the conflict and is guaranteed to escalate the conflict and push it closer towards an actual existential threat, making it more likely for everyone to all lose under MAD instead of simply threatening to push the button to get the enemy to back off.

If you are facing an existential threat, MAD with nukes is the best option. You don't need a "symbol of your willingness to go nuclear". You just show off your nukes, and then show a red button and threaten to press it. No half-steps, especially permanent half-steps like Kessler Syndrome GEO, because that just pisses people off and makes it more likely that you have to press the button, which you don't want to anyways because you will still die.


audigex t1_it5mcof wrote

You can be facing an existential threat without yet being at war

Again, see the USSR response to Able Archer - they believed that NATO was escalating to nuclear war, but they didn't immediately mash the nuclear button


Bluemofia t1_it5xtwh wrote

How is that an existential threat? No massive waves of nukes were fired out of their silos, no bombers entering Soviet airspace, no invasion crossed the borders. Impending threats yes, but not like they had their territory violated.

(EDIT: Misread it. Regardless, the USSR perceived an existential threat by NATO, and responded by threatening existential defeat for NATO by readying their nuclear weapons for launch. They didn't want to actually fire them until they have confirmation of nuclear war, and this is behaving in a manner consistent with MAD.)

Even if the USSR interpreted the malfunctioning early warning systems as an actual nuclear attack, and thus existential defeat is imminent, and behaved in your scenario by Kessler Syndroming GEO as a "symbol of their willingness to go nuclear" (pretend for a moment that Kessler Syndroming GEO is actually viable in the 80s), only find out that this was due to technical glitches and aggressive drills, what they would have done was escalate the scenario by destroying NATO assets, increasing the likelihood of leading to an actual nuclear war, which will be the lose condition for everyone.

What the USSR did in reality in response to believing that NATO was escalating to a first strike nuclear launch was more in line with the usual MAD response. They readied their nuclear arsenal (knowing that NATO would realize what they are doing), and prepared to fire back in the event of a nuclear strike.

Again, no one wants to activate MAD. It's purpose is that once a nation acknowledges existential defeat, it has the option to bring everyone else to hell with it in the hope that the threat of doing so is enough to avoid existential defeat in the first place.


chadenright t1_it5rmux wrote

This is essentially boiling down to the logic of mutually assured destruction. A reasonable party would rather not see his country get turned into a glass crater because he launched a first strike. But there's always the danger of some nutjob Putin or Kim who decides that having another five years in office is more important to them than the lives of every man, woman and child on earth.

Of course, what do they care? If they lose, they won't live long enough to see it, while if they win, sure the world is wrecked, but hey, they survived and kept hold of power, and that's the really important thing.


audigex t1_it5t7l8 wrote

It's similar logic to MAD, but a clear step down

But in any case, MAD never stopped countries from wanting nukes, why would it stop anyone from wanting this?


dan_dares t1_it6frrt wrote

Every country on the planet would be pissed at the one who launched that.

everyone who uses GPS in their car, or company that uses GPS time stamps (google for one)

GPS has literally become a mission-critical piece of human life.

(and by GPS i'm referring to all the positioning systems, not just the American system, they would all be wiped out)

Good analogy btw.


zeeblecroid t1_it5c0pe wrote

Nobody - not even the Inscrutable Unfettered Evil Yellow Peril - is going to wipe out the entire planet's telecommunications, including their own, in an attempt to "level the playing field" against the United States. The scenario is entirely ridiculous.


audigex t1_it5g83i wrote

There are numerous countries who have enough nukes to wipe out the majority of the world’s population, weapons that exist solely for retribution if they’re already dead… this satellite is several steps below that

If they consider the conflict to be an existential war (a fight for their lives and country’s existence), why would they care what happens in future? If they don’t do it, they stop existing and don’t give a shit. If they do, then maybe it’s a problem to worry about later, if they even live that long


zeeblecroid t1_it5irln wrote

Handwringy what-ifs over applying the conduct of genocidal superpower wars to other situations is silly.

If things got to that point, nothing they could do would confer any advantages because the nukes would be flying anyway. If things didn't get to that point, scenarios like "how about we destroy global telecommunications and meteorology, because that totally won't completely screw us too" aren't going to come up.


audigex t1_it5iygr wrote

I don’t see why we would assume the nukes would be flying - nuclear warfare involves various levels of escalation (See: Able Archer or the Cuban Missile Crisis), this could feasibly be one of them


zeeblecroid t1_it5k4s2 wrote

You already said the scenario is a "we stop existing or they stop existing" war between superpowers. If you think that wouldn't go nuclear I don't know what to tell you.


drewbagel423 t1_it5gisl wrote

You really think that if we were (actively) at war with Russia right now that Putin wouldn't strongly consider doing this?


zeeblecroid t1_it5i5tm wrote

I know that We^TM are always intrinsically sane and They^TM are always intrinsically not, but no, Russia would not destroy most of its capability to communicate internally in the event of a war with the west because that would simply hasten their already-assured defeat.

China definitely isn't going to do it out of the blue like people panicking over this story seem to assume.


smithsp86 t1_it5vh88 wrote

War is a zero sum game. As long as your opponent is more dependent on those orbits than you are it is a net benefit to make them unusable.


OrganicGrownie t1_it4prq4 wrote

Lol. That's like shooting a shotgun 300 yards away from a group of toy army soldiers and saying you're going to hit every one of them. There are more than 500 satellites in either geosynchronous and geostationary orbits. No wonder no one did it.

Orbital mechanics are so much harder than what science fiction makes it out to be. Hence why countries are still failing to reach orbit at all. Much less these perfect rendezvous required to knock a satellite out of orbit.


aecarol1 t1_it4quog wrote

The constraints on a geostationary orbit are fairly tight. It's not a wide open orbit, but rather a very narrow line around the earth. The further from dead center, the more fuel they must use for station keeping. They like to stay dead-center because it keeps them in the same place in the sky and reduces the amount of fuel they must expend.

Even dead center, there is drift for several reasons, so fuel must be consumed; just not very much.

The fear is that an enemy will enter the orbit very cleanly, going the opposite direction.

When there are millions of BB's flying at them at 14,000 mph, that's a lot of damage from even one hit. Worse, the entire orbit becomes useless for anybody for many decades.


MasterFubar t1_it4tyfi wrote

That's like putting a group of toy soldiers in a perfect straight line and hitting all of them with one bullet.

> Orbital mechanics are so much harder than what science fiction makes it out to be. Hence why countries are still failing to reach orbit at all.

Apart from one country that still uses medieval measurement units, I've never heard of a spacecraft failing due to wrong orbital calculations. They aren't done on a blackboard like the guy in Don't Look Up did, but they aren't particularly hard to do.

I do this professionally, I work in a company that controls satellites in geostationary orbit, the error in orbit determination calculations is in the order of magnitude of ten centimeters or so. You can think of it as an "inverse GPS": it's possible to determine the position of a satellite in orbit from ground measurements the same way GPS allows us to determine the position of something on the earth surface.


phred14 t1_it5bunp wrote

So if I'm not mistaken, according to what you've just said, the toy soldiers are lined up so precisely that one bullet taking them all out isn't unreasonable. I know, it's not really that bad, if only because the bullet would be deflected by the first collision and you said 10cm. But the cloud of retrograde ball-bearings sounds like it might really be devastating.


Captain_Hadock t1_it6k1vu wrote

To make an american metaphor, it's like driving thousands of motorbikes the wrong way on a nascar race course, without allowing the cars nor the bikes to deviate from their race trajectory.
Sure, you probably won't hit all the cars on the first lap, but by the end of the day....


andygates2323 t1_it6pa94 wrote

No, all the things in that analogy are big and close together. It's not even mosquitos in a stadium.


Captain_Hadock t1_it6zeyn wrote

They also don't generate new debris upon impact that will keep crossing the race course forever, so...


7LeagueBoots t1_it7jxdi wrote

Kessler cascade. One is destroyed and there is a ton more debris to take down the next one, and so forth.


mithie007 t1_it5nr8n wrote

This... seems off. I'm not saying it won't work - but it's definitely not as trivial as just setting off a shrapnel bomb a bit above geosync orbit.

Orbital space isn't as crowded as it seems - it's quite high up and the amount actually occupied by satellites is infinitesmal.

Plus which, if you set off an explosion on top of the geosynch orbit, only a very minor fraction of the debris will remain in geosynch orbit. Most will be propelled to a higher or lower orbit. And the debris that do end up in geosynch orbit will have very low relative velocity to the other satellites, since they share the same orbit.

Plus, it's difficult to get a killshot on a satellite unless you're aiming for one. You can nick a solar panel or a make a hole in the casing, but to render the satellite inoperable, you'd have to punch through one of its vital systems - for example - the CPU, a comms antenna, or the battery array.

Which - especially on one of the larger milsats - makes up a small fraction of the total satellite mass.

This sounds like the kessler syndrome scare again.


aecarol1 t1_it5rddm wrote

Most orbits don't have to be extremely precise. A satellite will pass overhead a few seconds earlier or later over time. They correct the drift when it gets bad enough, but it's not a deal breaker, moment to moment if it's early or late.

But the geostationary orbit does need to be fairly precise. There are millions of dishes that point to the location. The further it is from its exact slot, the more it will drift across the sky. That's undesirable, so they try to keep it right on the centerline of the orbit.

The bad guys would not so much "explode" the vehicle, as unzip it, releasing the millions of balls, letting orbital dynamics do the work. over a few hours they will spread out. Getting hit by one one at 14,000 mph could be awful.

Considering a small fleck of paint actually made a small divot in a Space Shuttle window, imagine what a ball bearing weighing 1/10th of an ounce will do at 14,000mph

You can fit about 3.5 million 1/8th inch ball bearings in 1,000 pounds. That's a lot of debris released all-at-once.


mithie007 t1_it5whvg wrote

So my initial reaction is, you have satellites, which do station keeping, and ball bearings, which do not. So after the initial blast, the vast majority of the debris should be kicked to a different orbit, and no longer a "threat" to the current orbit.

That said, I'd imagine debris kicked off into the lower orbits could pose a serious concern to future satellite launches.

I agree that the initial impact will be quite devastating, but it won't disable the entire orbit.


Captain_Hadock t1_it6jjcj wrote

The reason it doesn't sound destructive is because you missed the part where the debris are being released in a retrograde GEO-altitude orbit (which isn't harder to reach than regular GEO). Which means they would still follow a GEO-like orbital path, but going the opposite way (impact velocity will be 6 km/s or 13400 mph).


mithie007 t1_it6qu94 wrote

Yup. Thank you. That's what I was missing

Yeah if you can get a bunch of ball bearings going retrograde, you will rip up the entire orbit like a shotgun blast that keeps on going.


aecarol1 t1_it5xp7e wrote

No need for a real blast. Just unzip and release them. Orbital dynamics will spread them out. Combinations of sunlight, magnetic fields, jostling with each other will spread them out over a period of days.

They might do like SpaceX does with Starlink. Rotate the vehicle slowly and then just please the payload. A very slow spin will impart enough delta-V to cause them to slowly spread out.

Station keeping tries to keep these satellites within 0.15 degree of their slot. That's about 60 miles worst case. Releasing a few million ball bearings could be awful, especially since you get "another shot" at a collision with any specific satellite every 12 hours.

There have been two confirm hits by space debris on geostationary satellites already with another 20 suspected. That was because of accidents. Now imagine several tons of debris specifically put there for that exact purpose.


snigherfardimungus t1_it4sejg wrote

The odds of a collision between an antistationary (BS term, but I'm sticking with it) satellite and another in geostationary orbit are very low. Even though everything up there is in the "same orbit", that orbit has a cross-section of hundreds of miles.

If everything in that orbit were immovable, the antistationary satellite would still be able to avoid it all. Geostationary isn't actually a static orbit. Due to effects from the moon, sun, tidal forces, and plain old voodoo, a geostationary satellite's orbit will incline over time. This requires that it be equipped with thrusters for station keeping purposes.

Should the new satellite fail, there'd be an ongoing effort to track and predict its position and adjust the orbits of other satellites to ensure no risk of collision. (Since geostationary isn't really a stable orbit, anything up there has to have maneuvering capabilities to stay put.)

The real problem is the possibility of one of the satellites up there getting splatted by a passing space rock. It's incredibly rare (I don't know if it's ever happened to anything in GEO or LEO), but would cause the issue you describe if it happened to the new satellite. If it happened to anything else up there, the debris field would slowly be pulled out of GEO and only return every couple of decades.

Not sure it's worth the risk....


aecarol1 t1_it5aqhg wrote

This isn't a case of the "new satellite failing", but rather the new satellite deciding to self destruct an hour after it arrives. The entire point of the mission would be to deny use of the entire geostationary for everyone.

If a satellite has several tons of ball bearings and simply releases them, they will over a day or two spread over the entire orbit.

There has already been a two confirmed debris collisions in geostationary orbit, with another 20 suspected. This was a case where it wasn't intentional. Imagine 3 or 4 tons of steel balls intentionally released into that same orbit on purpose.


szpaceSZ t1_it67wmq wrote

> It will destroy every single satellite in that orbit in 12 hours.

It will also deny GEO for the next 100.000 or so years for every power, including the one doing the destroying.


aecarol1 t1_it7ax49 wrote

Probably no more than a few decades. Orbital dynamics would spread the items to other orbits. There's always be more there we'd like, but in a decade the density would lower enough to be manageable.

If you were in a struggle with an enemy that really depended on those satellites and you felt you could manage without them, you might strike such a blow to gain an advantage in that war.

I'm not remotely suggesting it's a good idea, but it's certainly one that I'm sure various powers have evaluated doing, or worried about being done to them.


Karcinogene t1_it54i46 wrote

This gave me the hilarious vision of satellites tripping on ball bearings on the floor and falling on their asses.


Fredavisjnr t1_it4zh7z wrote

Isn’t this what happened in the movie Gravity with George Clooney and Sandra Bullock? But it was shrapnel that destroyed the shuttle and ISS?


andygates2323 t1_it6pe08 wrote

Watch Gravity twice, once for the thrill ride, then again for the orbital mechanics comedy.


ScenicAndrew t1_it7ny8i wrote

Shitty part is that we ALL benefit from at least SOMETHING in that orbit. Weather, internet, TV. Sure two of those are just entertainment but those weather satellites keep people safe, are used in education, and assist serious research in atmospheric and geographic sciences.


aecarol1 t1_it7oc69 wrote

Of course. It would be a crime against humanity to do such a thing. But like I said, I'm sure all the great powers have either thought about doing it, or worried about it being done.

I suspect the more Western the power, the more they fear it being done.


kyoto_magic t1_it9js76 wrote

Couldn’t you just launch it straight to geosynchronous orbit? Why does the moon need to be involved?


aecarol1 t1_it9se58 wrote

Because launching to a retrograde (reverse direction) geostationary orbit is very expensive in terms of fuel. (see note) You won't have much payload.

It actually takes less fuel to do a "figure 8" trip around the moon and choose to enter a retrograde orbit than to directly inject into such an orbit at launch.

It would not be hard for any major power to have a vehicle of several tons into a retrograde orbit and then release 10's of millions of small ball bearings, or other material. People have suggested sand as it would damage more delicate things such as external wiring and solar panels. Ball bearings would be far more penetrating.

Note: about 7% of the energy to get to space is "free" from the rotation of the Earth. If you want to go into a retrograde orbit, you need to add 14% more energy. 7% to undo what the Earth is already doing, then the amount you would have used plus making up the 7% you didn't get from the Earth.


chadenright t1_it5qpnn wrote

Oh great, we can add "Intentional Kessler cascade" to our "Global Thermonuclear/biowarfare Worry sheet."

Seriously, vandalism at a planetary scale.


KmartQuality t1_it66sqa wrote

How long would it take for those ball bearings to become 'shooting stars'?


Hessianapproximation t1_it6766f wrote

Just spitballing but could we release dust or gas in geosynchronous orbit to slow down the balls? Wouldn’t interact harshly with objects going in same direction due to same relative velocity and small mass.


scunglyscrimblo t1_it8yyco wrote

That might as well be an attack on humanity. Sure let’s just render the entire sphere of influence of the moon uninhabitable for everyone that wants to put a satellite there


aecarol1 t1_it97jt1 wrote

Yes, it's a horrific thing to contemplate. It would wreck many terribly useful orbits for decades to come. I'm certainly not in favor of it, but I can imagine a nation doing this for some perceived tactical advantage.


scunglyscrimblo t1_it9a7wj wrote

I feel like there should be really horrible consequences for whatever nation does that if it even becomes a reality


aecarol1 t1_it9b2kx wrote

If it ever gets to that level, there is already some deep, dark stuff, near extinction level stuff going down on the planet.


scunglyscrimblo t1_it9b6zq wrote

That’s strangely reassuring because I don’t see us getting to that point, at least not for a long time


Matasa89 t1_it6lxyu wrote

Seems like this is exactly what they are attempting. Nothing else makes sense.