Space Is Full Of Trash, Let’s Throw Harpoons At It Because That Seems Really Cool

You know what’s the worst part of space? All the trash. You go up to space expecting a vast expanse of nothing, but nope. Trash. Just so much trash. Fortunately, the world’s best and brightest minds have been hard at work on the critical issue of rapidly accumulating space junk.

“There is just too much trash guys. You know what trash reminds me of? Whales. Because whales are trash. And how do we kill trash whales? Harpoons. Ergo, lets throw harpoons at the trash. All in favor? Okay that’s everyone. Wow that went a lot better than I expected.”
- The World’s Best And Brightest Minds

Honestly, they had me at “trash.” But for those who need a little more explanation before they fully support deep space trash whaling, here are the facts.

- There’s about 6 tons of garbage floating around Earth, most of it spinning around really fast and basically waiting for us to make its day by sending up some satellite or something it can collide with and make a huge explosion that creates more giant spinning space junk

- This clutter is made up of dead satellites and spacecraft we just left up there, because I guess that’s a thing we do, and large flecks of paint and debris that spacecraft have shed because the flame decals weren’t exactly dry before liftoff and I think we used the wrong kind of paint but it was all they had at Lowe’s on such short notice

- It has gotten to a point where its putting our global communication network at risk and our roommate Gary never puts his shit away so all of his god damn laundry is kind of kicking around up there too and that certainly isn’t helping

- A bunch of science men and science ladies met in Germany to talk about the trash problem (see aforementioned quote) and they thought it would be super badass if we launched some space spears at the trash then pulled it down really fast so it catches on fire and disintegrates and who are you to tell them there’s probably a simpler way to throw out our garbage they spend their whole lives doing equations in some godforsaken windowless lab so you could for once just let them have a moment and throw some big harpoons at dead space stations because they really need this

So that’s where we’re at right now, as a species, regarding the massive amount of our garbage that we just kind of tossed out into the void and assumed we would deal with later when we had time because there’s a lot on our minds right now. The science people expect to start putting this plan into action within the next few years, mostly because they need a little time to make sure there’s nothing more gnarly they could do.

“Like maybe they could send a bunch of scientists up in some kind of mech suits, and they could be really armed to the teeth with all sorts of rockets and laser swords, and we could hurtle through space at the speed of light eradicating trash and then the trash forms into some kind of malevolent trash beast and we have to band together (despite being an unlikely crew of maverick renegades) and slay the daemon together before returning to earth to be swarmed by the thankful and sexually aroused townfolk, I don’t know I’m just spitballing here guys we have a couple of years to work on it”
- The World’s Best And Brightest Minds

Until then, we’ll just have to look the other way when it comes to space trash and just try to recycle more or something. For a bunch of people with those cool “tea and crumpets” accents talking about science and some really nice animations of space trash, check out the video below.


Popular Science
Al Jazeera

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