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Instead of competing to be the first to have a space station roaming above the Earth, countries around the world are banding together to get the International Space Station "off the ground". Six national space agencies as well as fourteen different countries, including the US, Russia, Germany, and Japan are working together on the project.
Don't use a more powerful bulb in your outside light than you need, and tell your friends and neighbors to cut down on their outside light use. Contact the International Dark Sky Association if you want the issue of light pollution dealt with in your area. They will tell you how to help.
Since 1957, when Russia first launched Sputnik I, humans have left over 900,000 pounds of debris scattered across the solar system. Some of it eventually falls to Earth, but most remains out there, ready to attack. It takes only a speck of matter the size of a pea to permanently destroy a space-craft.
There has been one report since the beginning of the space age (almost 40 years ago) of a person getting hit with space debris. Fortunately, the object was lightweight and only caused minor injury. The largest piece of debris to fall to Earth has so far been NASA's Skylab, which weighed in at 70,000 kilograms.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|