Professor says Earth is forming Saturn-like rings made of space junk

Nov 26, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership

We’ve got a huge space junk problem — and it’s only going to get worse as more and more companies and governments launch satellites, spacecraft, probes, and even tourists into space.

While much of what we send to orbit ends up getting sucked back into the Earth’s atmosphere to burn up, much of it remains — until we figure out how to do something about it.

Things could get so bad, University of Utah professor Jake Abbott predicts that the Earth could soon start looking a lot like Saturn.

“Earth is on course to have its own rings,” he told The Salt Lake Tribune. “They’ll just be made of junk.”

According to the European Space Agency, there are an estimated 170 million pieces of space debris larger than one millimeter across already in orbit. Roughly 670,000 of them are larger than about half an inch across.

With companies like SpaceX launching their own massive constellations of broadband-beaming satellites, our planet’s orbit is busier than ever. That means we are also at a greater risk of knock-on collision events that could result in even more, smaller pieces of space junk.

Now, scientists are trying to figure out how to address the problem. Abbott believes one way to swoop up space junk could be using magnets.

By spinning up a magnet at the end of a robotic arm to create special electrical currents called eddies, individual pieces of space junk could be controlled and slowed down, as described in a recent article Abbot published in the journal Nature.

“We’ve basically created the worlds first tractor beam,” the researcher told The Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s just a question of engineering now. Building and launching it.”

Leong Mun Wai pulled a 'Raeesah Khan' in Parliament on Telegram hearsay

Jan 13, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
On Tuesday (Jan 11), Progress Singapore Party (PSP) member Leong Mun Wai claimed that he received feedback from residents, "that some teachers have already practised vaccination diferentiated safe management measures in schools".

When asked by Education Minister Chan Chun Sing to name the schools and teachers involved, Leong backpedalled and said that the feedback was through Whatsapp and that he would need to ask 'his' residents before making a clarification. He later disclosed that the feedback originated from a Telegram group called SG Concerned Parents.

After a terse exchange between Chan and Speaker of the House Tan Chuan Jin, Leong admitted that the chat group messages did not name any particular schools.

Indranee: When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it

Leong's response drew a rebuke from Leader of the House Indranee Rajah who admonished Leong for making unsubstantiated claims.

Indranee rose and said: "When you make allegations against teachers and just cast it out there, you must be able to substantiate it. And that is why Minister Chan (had) asked, ‘Please provide me with the details of which school and which teacher so that the Ministry of Education can follow up'.”

She described Leong’s explanation on Tuesday as an attempt to “grandstand” or make broad speeches that have no bearing on the details requested by the Education Minister.

Leong Mun Wai another Raeesah Khan?

In August last year, Raeesah shared an anecdote in Parliament about details of a rape case she alleged was mishandled by the police. She later admitted to lying about the anecdote.

In 2014, Workers' Party MP Faisal Manap also made an unsubstantiated claim alleging that when he was a counsellor, he came across a couple who were having housing issues and advised to file for a divorce by the Housing and Development Board — so that the wife would be eligible to buy a house under the Singles Scheme and she could subsequently remarry her husband.

He later apologised for not verifying the authenticity of his anecdote.