未登录,请登录后再发表信息
最新评论 (0)
播放视频

清理太空垃圾,任重道远

Let's clean up the space junk orbiting Earth | Natalie Panek

点亮世界
Light up the world
我们的生活依赖于
Our lives depend
一个看不见的世界
on a world we can’t see.
想想自己截至本周的生活吧
Think about your week so far.
你看电视了吗 使用GPS了吗
Have you watched TV, used GPS,
查看天气或是吃饭了吗
checked the weather or even ate a meal?
所有这些影响我们日常生活的事情
These many things that enable our daily lives
都直接或间接的依赖于
rely either directly or indirectly
人造卫星
on satellites.
当我们经常认为
And while we often take for granted
卫星给我们提供服务是理所当然的时候
the services that satellites provide us,
我们也应该关注
the satellites themselves deserve our attention
它们在太空
as they are leaving a lasting mark
所留下的持久的标记
on the space they occupy.
全世界的人们每天都依赖卫星设施
People around the world rely on satellite infrastructure every day
以获取信息 以消遣时间 以互相交流
for information, entertainment and to communicate.
农业 环境监控
There’s agricultural and environmental monitoring,
网络联接 航海技术
Internet connectivity, navigation.
甚至于在金融和能源领域
Satellites even play a role
卫星也扮演着举足轻重的角色
in the operation of our financial and energy markets.
但这些我们天天依赖的
But these satellites that we rely on
卫星
day in and day out
寿命是有限的
have a finite life.
它们可能会耗尽助推燃料
They might run out of propellant,
也可能出故障
they could malfunction,
或是“寿终正寝”
or they may just naturally reach the end of their mission life.
此时 这些卫星实际上就成了太空垃圾
At this point, these satellites effectively become space junk,
污染了太空环境
cluttering the orbital environment.
想像一下 在一个迷人而又和煦的日子里
So imagine you’re driving down the highway on a beautiful, sunny day
你开着车子
out running errands.
打开音乐
You’ve got your music cranked,
摇下车窗
your windows rolled down,
清凉的微风拂过你的头发
with the cool breeze blowing through your hair.
感觉很舒服 对吗
Feels nice, right?
一切都是那么的美妙
Everything is going smoothly
直到你的车子突然抛锚了
until suddenly your car stutters and stalls
而且是在高速路正中间
right in the middle of the highway.
现在 你除了把车子扔在路上
So now you have no choice but to abandon your car
别无他法
where it is on the highway.
也许你非常幸运
Maybe you were lucky enough
能够把车子从路上挪到路肩
to be able to move it out of the way and into a shoulder lane
这样就不会妨碍其他车辆通行
so that it’s out of the way of other traffic.
几个小时之前
A couple of hours ago,
这辆你每天赖以出行的车子还很有用
your car was a useful machine that you relied on in your everyday life.
现在 它成了一堆废铁
Now, it’s a useless hunk of metal
一堆占据有效空间 妨碍交通运行的废铁
taking up space in a valuable transportation network.
想象一下 国际道路被乱七八糟的损毁车辆堵得严严实实
And imagine international roadways all cluttered with broken down vehicles
妨碍了交通
that are just getting in the way of other traffic.
想想这些碎片会撒得到处都是
And imagine the debris that would be strewn everywhere
如果真的发生碰撞
if a collision actually happened,
成千上万更小的碎片
thousands of smaller pieces of debris
就会变成新的障碍
becoming new obstacles.
这个例子就是卫星工业的现状
This is the paradigm of the satellite industry.
不再运行的卫星
Satellites that are no longer working
经常任其自行脱离轨道 再也不管
are often left to deorbit over many, many years,
或是仅仅把它们推出轨道作为权宜之计
or only moved out of the way as a temporary solution.
也没有关于太空垃圾的国际法
And there are no international laws in space
强制我们把它清理干净
to enforce us to clean up after ourselves.
世界上第一个人造卫星—卫星一号
So the world’s first satellite, Sputnik I,
1957年发射升空
was launched in 1957,
那一年 全世界总共只有三次发射的尝试
and in that year, there were only a total of three launch attempts.
数十年后 世界各地有许多国家
Decades later and dozens of countries from all around the world
把成千上万的卫星发射进入了轨道
have launched thousands of more satellites into orbit,
未来发射的频率还会增加
and the frequency of launches is only going to increase in the future,
特别是考虑到也许
especially if you consider things like the possibility
未来会有900颗卫星组成的星座被发射的时候
of 900-plus satellite constellations being launched.
现在 我们根据需要
Now, we send satellites to different orbits
把卫星发射到不同的轨道
depending on what they’re needed for.
我们最常发射卫星的地方之一
One of the most common places we send satellites
是地球的近地轨道
is the low Earth orbit,
尽可能地想一想在距离地球表面
possibly to image the surface of Earth
大约两千公里高度的地方
at up to about 2,000 kilometers altitude.
卫星从那儿可以轻而易举地摆脱大气层的束缚
Satellites there are naturally buffeted by Earth’s atmosphere,
所以有可能在几十年内
so their orbits naturally decay,
它们将慢慢脱离轨道
and they’ll eventually burn up,
甚至最终烧掉
probably within a couple of decades.
另一个经常发射卫星的地方
Another common place we send satellites
是地球同步轨道
is the geostationary orbit
大约在距地三万五千公里的高度
at about 35,000 kilometers altitude.
在地球自转的时候 同步卫星一直处于同一个位置
Satellites there remain in the same place above Earth as the Earth rotates,
这样使得像通信 电视广播之类的设备正常运转
which enables things like communications or television broadcast, for example.
这些高轨道卫星可以停在那儿达几个世纪
Satellites in high orbits like these could remain there for centuries.
(当卫星被抛弃)它所在的轨道就被称为“墓地”
And then there’s the orbit coined “the graveyard,”
“不祥的垃圾”或“弃星轨道”
the “ominous junk” or “disposal orbits”,
而有些卫星是在它们“生命”尽头
where some satellites are intentionally placed
被有意丢弃的
at the end of their life
以使它们脱离正常运行的轨道
so that they’re out of the way of common operational orbits.
自上世纪50年代至今发射的近7000颗卫星
Of the nearly 7,000 satellites launched since the late 1950s,
目前仅有七分之一还在正常运转
only about one in seven is currently operational,
除了那些不再运行的卫星外
and in addition to the satellites that are no longer working,
还有数十万块弹珠大小的碎片
there’s also hundreds of thousands of marble-sized debris
以及数百万碎屑大小的垃圾
and millions of paint chip-sized debris
绕着地球轨道运转
that are also orbiting around the Earth.
太空碎片不仅是航天任务面临的主要危险
Space debris is a major risk to space missions,
也是我们时刻不离的卫星所面临的主要风险
but also to the satellites that we rely on each and every day.
现在 由于太空碎片和太空垃圾越来越令人不安
Now, because space debris and junk has become increasingly worrisome,
已经有了一些国家和国家联盟在努力
there have been some national and international efforts
建立技术标准
to develop technical standards
以帮助我们阻止额外碎片的产生
to help us limit the generation of additional debris.
例如 有一些规范建议
So for example, there are recommendations
近地轨道宇宙飞船
for those low-Earth orbiting spacecraft
可以在二十五年内脱离轨道
to be made to deorbit in under 25 years,
但那仍然是一段漫长的时间
but that’s still a really long time,
尤其是当卫星还没运行几年的话
especially if a satellite hasn’t been working for years.
也有指令要求把那些不再工作的地球同步航天器
There’s also mandates for those dead geostationary spacecraft
送入墓地轨道
to be moved into a graveyard orbit.
但是这些指导方针都不属于国际法范围
But neither of these guidelines is binding under international law,
而且要知道这些协议将是通过国家机制来实施的
and the understanding is that they will be implemented through national mechanisms.
这些指导方针也并非长久之计
These guidelines are also not long-term,
没有高瞻远瞩
they’re not proactive,
也并非清理已经存在的碎片
nor do they address the debris that’s already up there.
它们只是在限制会在未来产生的碎片
They’re only in place to limit the future creation of debris.
太空垃圾不是某一个人的责任
Space junk is no one’s responsibility.
现在 珠穆朗玛峰是个有趣的对比
Now, Mount Everest is actually an interesting comparison
它让我们可以从一个新的角度看出人类是如何对待环境的
of a new approach to how we interact with our environments,
它经常被冠以“世界上最高的垃圾场”
as it’s often given the dubious honor
这样一个“光荣称号”
of being the world’s highest garbage dump.
从人类首次征服这一世界最高点以来 几十年过去了
Decades after the first conquest of the world’s highest peak,
攀登者留下了无数的垃圾
tons of rubbish left behind by climbers
这已经引起人们的关注
has started to raise concern,
你也许看过新闻在预测
and you may have read in the news that there’s speculation
尼泊尔为了震慑(不守规矩的)登山者
that Nepal will crack down on mountaineers
将实施更严格的惩罚措施 让其担负更大的法律责任
with stricter enforcement of penalties and legal obligations.
目的当然是要劝说登山者们
The goal, of course, is to persuade climbers
把自己身后的垃圾清理干净
to clean up after themselves,
也许当地非盈利组织会奖励带下额外垃圾的登山者
so maybe local not-for-profits will pay climbers who bring down extra waste,
或者探险队会组织志愿者进行清理旅行
or expeditions might organize voluntary cleanup trips.
但是仍然有很多登山者觉得
And yet still many climbers feel
独立团体应进行自我监督
that independent groups should police themselves.
答案没那么简单
There’s no simple or easy answer,
甚至出于好意为保护环境而做出的努力
and even well-intentioned efforts at conservation
也经常问题百出
often run into problems.
但那并不意味着我们不该做些力所能及的事情
But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything in our power
以保护我们赖以生存的环境
to protect the environments that we rely and depend on,
拿珠穆朗玛峰来说 其山高路远 设施落后
and like Everest, the remote location and inadequate infrastructure
的恶虐环境
of the orbital environment
去那里丢垃圾充满挑战
make waste disposal a challenging problem.
但我们一时半会儿还无法爬到新的高度
But we simply cannot reach new heights
创建一个更高一点的垃圾场
and create an even higher garbage dump,
一个世界之外的垃圾场
one that’s out of this world.
太空的现实情况是
The reality of space
假如卫星的某个部件损坏了
is that if a component on a satellite breaks down,
将几无修复的可能
there really are limited opportunities for repairs,
除非花费高昂的代价
and only at great cost.
但如果我们在设计卫星时多花一点心思会怎样呢
But what if we were smarter about how we designed satellites?
假如所有的卫星
What if all satellites,
不管它们所属的国家
regardless of what country they were built in,
能在一定程度上建立
had to be standardized in some way
回收 维护
for recycling, servicing
或主动脱轨的标准会怎样呢
or active deorbiting?
假如确实存在严厉的国际法规
What if there actually were international laws with teeth
能够强制处理失效的卫星
that enforced end-of-life disposal of satellites
而不是仅仅把它们移出轨道
instead of moving them out of the way
以作为权宜之计会怎样呢
as a temporary solution?
或者卫星制造者需要支付押金
Or maybe satellite manufacturers need to be charged a deposit
作为发射卫星进入轨道的保证
to even launch a satellite into orbit,
而且只有在他们妥善处置了卫星
and that deposit would only be returned
或是完成应处理的碎片的定额后
if the satellite was disposed of properly
才能返还保证金
or if they cleaned up some quota of debris.
或许需要在卫星壳体上施加相应的技术
Or maybe a satellite needs to have technology on board
来帮助它加速脱离轨道
to help accelerate deorbit.
有一些令人鼓舞的兆头
There are some encouraging signs.
例如 英国发射于2014年的技术实验卫星一号
The UK’s TechDemoSat-1, launched in 2014, for example,
通过设计一个小的浮锚
was designed for end-of-life disposal
来处理报废的卫星
via a small drag sail.
这种方法之所以奏效是因为该卫星很小
This works for the satellite because it’s small,
但是对处于更高轨道运行的大型轨道卫星
but satellites that are higher or in larger orbits
对于更高 更大 就像校车那样尺寸的卫星
or are larger altogether, like the size of school buses,
就需要其他的处理方法了
will require other disposal options.
你可能会想到用高能激光
So maybe you get into things like high-powered lasers
或是用网或链子拖拽等方法
or tugging using nets or tethers,
就目前来看 这些听上去似乎有些疯狂
as crazy as those sound in the short term.
还有一种可能的方案听起来很酷
And then one really cool possibility
那就是应用轨道拖车或空间力学
is the idea of orbital tow trucks or space mechanics.
想象一下 如果空间轨道拖车
Imagine if a robotic arm
的机器手臂
on some sort of space tow truck
可以修理卫星上的坏掉的零件
could fix the broken components on a satellite,
使其重新运转
making them usable again.
或假如类似的机器人手臂
Or what if that very same robotic arm
能够依靠化学燃料反应
could refuel the propellant tank on a spacecraft
给宇宙飞船助推燃料箱补充燃料
that relies on chemical propulsion
像你我给汽车油箱加油一样 会怎么样呢
just like you or I would refuel the fuel tanks on our cars?
使用机器进行修复或维护工作
Robotic repair and maintenance
可延长数以千计的绕地球运转的卫星的寿命
could extend the lives of hundreds of satellites orbiting around the Earth.
无论我们选择怎样的处理方法或清理手段
Whatever the disposal or cleanup options we come up with,
那显然都不只是一个技术问题
it’s clearly not just a technical problem.
还涉及复杂的太空法律和不得不面对的政治问题
There’s also complex space laws and politics that we have to sort out.
简而言之 我们暂时还没有找到一条可持续利用太空的途径
Simply put, we haven’t found a way to use space sustainably yet.
通过探索及创新以改变我们生活和工作的方式
Exploring, innovating to change the way we live and work
是我们人类责无旁贷的任务
are what we as humans do,
在太空探索中
and in space exploration,
我们不断前进并跨越地球上的国界
we’re literally moving beyond the boundaries of Earth.
但既然我们以学习和创新的名义来打破界限
But as we push thresholds in the name of learning and innovation,
我们必须时刻记住自己有保护环境的义务
we must remember that accountability for our environments never goes away.
毋庸置疑 近地轨道和地球同步轨道如此拥塞
There is without doubt congestion in the low Earth and geostationary orbits,
我们不能一直只想着发射新的卫星
and we cannot keep launching new satellites
来替换损坏的卫星
to replace the ones that have broken down
我们必须治理拥塞
without doing something about them first,
就像我们永远不会把一辆坏掉的汽车
just like we would never leave a broken down car
丟在高速路上一样
in the middle of the highway.
下次你再使用自己的电话
Next time you use your phone,
查看天气或是使用GPS时
check the weather or use your GPS,
想想卫星技术使得这一切成为可能
think about the satellite technologies that make those activities possible.
同时也要想一想
But also think about the very impact
卫星对环绕地球的环境所带来的诸多影响
that the satellites have on the environment surrounding Earth,
一起传播这样一条讯息 我们必须减少自己的影响
and help spread the message that together we must reduce our impact.
地球轨道是如此的美丽
Earth orbit is breathtakingly beautiful
是我们的探索之门
and our gateway to exploration.
我们的所作所为决定着它的未来
It’s up to us to keep it that way.
谢谢
Thank you.

发表评论

译制信息
视频概述

科技发展日新月异,可是你有没有想过自己的日常生活会和星空中环绕地球的“天外飞仙”有怎样的联系呢?有没有想过我们生存的地球之外成了怎样一个模样呢?

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

启点—飞雪群山

审核员

自动通过审核

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=501FEzbB1JI

相关推荐