A “Controlled Rain” of Space Debris

A very comprehensive article, dermatologist   by Teresa Guerrero, about it of El Mundo, here covering the general picture of the space debris “state of play”. There’s been a number of potential objects falling over the south of Spain the last couple of weeks; couple this with the WT1190F re-entry, and this has caused (understandably) a lot of media interest.

I was interviewed as part of this article, and the first priority is – of course – to assure the general public that the risk to them from space debris falling from the sky is practically zero. Since the number of people injured by space debris, since the first launch of Sputnik, is nil then this is a simple thing to explain, although ensuring that this fact is taken as such is the difficult part.

This is addressed by El Mundo right at the beginning of the article, which opens with this paragraph:

Cada cierto tiempo las agencias espaciales lanzan una alerta por la reentrada a la Tierra de algún fragmento de basura espacial, es decir, componentes de satélites, cohetes o naves ya en desuso que quedan vagando por el cosmos. Algunos trozos, como los que han caído durante la última semana en Murcia, sobreviven a las altas temperaturas que soportan durante la reentrada a la atmósfera y llegan a la superficie terrestre, aunque la mayoría cae al océano y hasta la fecha no se ha registrado ningún herido por la caída de chatarra espacial.

The original article (with video) in Spanish is here.

A Google-translated version is here.

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