What Goes Up
It was only after the 3D experience of Gravity (a cast of two) that a friend told me that the scenario of cascading space debris–the movie’s crisis that creates the story–is based on a real-life threat known as “Kessler Syndrome.” See the “related articles” to come up to speed on this mess we’ve made in space–not unlike the floating ocean Garbage Patch below.
I am still reading, and some experts dismiss the risk of our earth-orbiting garbage reaching aÂ density (perhaps soon) so that a single fragmenting event creates a chain reaction of space junk that knocks out all communicationsÂ satellites, inhabited space stations and scientific telescope and sends it raining down on the planet.
Having just seen the movie, the next day I learn (again for the first time–what rock has my head been under?) that Google is seriously planning to provide world-wide internet service using balloons from within Earth atmosphere.
And I have to take a small step to the conclusion that this solution works, even when we’ve lost every satellite from space.
Makes for a plausible explanation for this retro-technology. I’m not saying it is the right one to explain the Google balloons. But I wonder…