Space Junk Used for Cyber warfare?

We’ve been making a mess in space for as long as people have been exploring there. Thousands of dead satellites orbit our globe, along with bits of debris from all the rockets we’ve fired throughout the years. This might become a problem in the future. 

We have launched thousands of rockets and sent countless more satellites into orbit since the advent of the space era in the 1950s. Many are still there, and as we launch more; the probability of collision grows.

But What is Space Junk?

Any piece of technology or debris left in space by humans is referred to as space junk or space debris. It can refer to large objects such as defunct satellites that failed or were abandoned in orbit at the conclusion of their missions. Smaller items, such as trash or paint flakes that have fallen off a rocket, can also be referred to as debris.

How much space junk is there?

While there are now roughly 4,000 operational satellites circling Earth, there are also 6,000 dead ones cluttering space. Furthermore, there are around 34,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 centimeters in size and millions of smaller bits that might be deadly if they collide with something else.

What risks does space junk pose to space exploration?

Fortunately, for the time being, space trash does not represent a significant threat to our exploration endeavors. The main threat it poses is to other satellites in orbit. To avoid being struck and perhaps damaged or killed, these satellites must shift out of the way of all this approaching space trash. Every year, hundreds of collision avoidance operations are undertaken by all satellites, including the International Space Station (ISS), where humans dwell.

How can we clean up space junk?

The United Nations requests that all firms remove their satellites from orbit within 25 years of the mission’s completion. This is difficult to enforce, however, because satellites can (and frequently do) fail. Several firms throughout the world have devised new solutions to this challenge. Among these are the removal of defunct satellites from orbit and drawing them back into the atmosphere, where they will burn up. We could achieve this by using a harpoon to capture a satellite, capturing it in a massive net, using magnets to capture it, or even using lasers to heat up the satellite, increasing air drag and causing it to fall out of orbit.

Will space junk be a problem in the future?

It’s possible. Several firms are developing massive new groups of satellites known as mega-constellations that will transmit the internet down to Earth. These firms, including SpaceX and Amazon, intended to launch thousands of satellites in order to provide worldwide satellite internet service. If the mission is successful, an additional 50,000 satellites might be sent into space. This also means that a lot more collision avoidance tactics will be required.

Cyber attacks though space junks?

A satellite has a life expectancy of five to thirty years, and even after that, it can still be in orbit with enough propellant to cruise across space and working communications that can be reactivated. Thousands of satellites, both active and dormant, have been sent into space by various organizations and governments, with 5,000 space-borne transponders connecting with Earth. Every transmission is a potential inlet for a cyber attack. Older satellites have technological commonalities, allowing cyber-exploitation of industrial systems for control and processing. Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems within our municipalities, facilities, infra­ structure, and factories are designed and built on older technology and hardware, sometimes designed decades ago, and the software is seldom updated.

These SCADA systems are seen as a strategic weakness and have received more attention in recent years from the US cyber-defense sector. Satellites may be based on 1980s hardware and technology for one simple reason: they are unlikely to be improved once launched into orbit.

This brings us to think, how important and necessary it becomes to clean our messes out our earth!