Post by danny burstein Post by Lynn McGuire
SpaceX has launched 62 internet relay satellites into orbit already. He
is planning on launching up to 12,000 more internet relay satellites in
the near future and 30,000 more after that.
Has anyone interviewed NASA's Donald Kessler about this?
The cumulative effect of ~42,000 sooty kerosene exhaust plumes in the
stratosphere can't be good:
If rockets are a minuscule contributor to the problem of
climate change, they do have a significant potential to
become a significant contributor to the problem of
stratospheric ozone depletion. This follows from three
unique characteristics of rocket emissions:
1. Rocket combustion products are the only human-produced
source of ozone-destroying compounds injected directly
into the middle and upper stratosphere. The stratosphere
is relatively isolated from the troposphere so that
emissions from individual launches accumulate in the
stratosphere. Ozone loss caused by rockets should be
considered as the cumulative effect of several years
of all launches, from all space organizations across
2. Stratospheric ozone levels are controlled by catalytic
chemical reactions driven by only trace amounts of
reactive gases and particles. Stratospheric concentrations
of these reactive compounds are typically about one-thousandth
that of ozone. Deposition of relatively small absolute
amounts of these reactive compounds can significantly modify
3. Rocket engines are known to emit many of the reactive gases
and particles that drive ozone destroying catalytic reactions.
This is true for all propellant types. Even water vapor
emissions, widely considered inert, contribute to ozone
depletion. Rocket engines cause more or less ozone loss
according to propellant type, but every type of rocket
engine causes some loss; no rocket engine is perfectly
"green" in this sense.
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