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为什么NASA不向太阳发射垃圾

Why Doesn't NASA Launch Trash Into the Sun

It’s everywhere.
它无处不在
Clogging up our landfills, rivers, seas
充斥于填埋场 河流和海洋
releasing a foul stench into the air,
散发出腐烂的臭味
always getting in the way
总是阻碍着我们
and making life worse for us here on Earth.
使我们在地球上的生活变得更糟
We’re talking, of course, about trash.
没错 我们所说的就是垃圾
Even with an increasing number of people
即使有越来越多的人
recycling and using alternative methods of disposal,
回收垃圾或应用其他的处理方法
our trash problem is a big one
但垃圾问题仍是个大困扰
global output of around 2.6 trillion pounds per year.
全球每年会产生约2.6万亿英镑的垃圾
So why can’t we just get rid of it altogether
为什么我们不直接把它们
by launching it into the sun?
都发射到太阳上去呢?
After all, we’re crowded enough as it is here
毕竟 我们已经够拥挤的了
and there’s a whole lot of emptiness in space.
而太空则有着大量的空间
Well, there’s actually a slew of problems with
事实上把垃圾扔到太阳这颗我们星系的恒星上
throwing our garbage right into the bright star of our solar system.
是有诸多问题的
So much as you’d like to launch trash on the streets
尽管你很想把大街上的垃圾
and the most persistent telemarketers you encounter right into the sun,
还有最顽固的电话推销员都发射到太阳上去
here’s why that can’t really happen.
但下面就是为什么不能的原因
First of all
首先
the decision to launch mass amounts of trash into space
向太空发射大量垃圾
would have to either be made by the government,
必须得由政府做出这个决定
or offered as a service by a corporation.
或者是由公司提供这种服务
In either case, the first thing they would do before
无论哪种情况 甚至在考虑这项活动的组织工作之前
even getting into the logistics of such an operation, is look at cost.
他们首先会做的事情 就是看看成本
Here we discover our first obstacle:
这里就发现了第一个障碍
launching material into space on a probe costs around
用航天器向太空发射物资的成本
$10,000 per pound, or $22,000 per kilogram.
约为每磅1万美元 或者说每公斤2.2万美元
That means throwing out the broken PlayStation 2
相当于你去看望父母时顺便扔掉
you found in your room when visiting mom and dad
你房间里坏掉的PS2游戏机
would cost you around $20,000.
将会花费大约2万美元
And when we expand this concept to include the entire US population,
当我们把这个概念扩大整个美国人口规模
rather than just one person Marie cargo in their apartment,
而不是像玛丽一个人房间里的那些垃圾
the obstacles increase exponentially.
困难就以指数规模急剧增加了
According to the Environmental Protection Agency,
根据(美国)环境保护署的数据
in 2017 the US produced 67.8 million tons of waste for the year.
2017年美国共产生了0.678亿吨垃圾
If we use the costs associated with launching material into space,
如果我们用向太空发射物资的成本来计算
that means taking care of the garbage produced just within the US
这意味着仅处理美国境内产生的垃圾
would amount to around $5.356 quadrillion per year.
每年大约需要5.356千兆美元
Otherwise known as too much.
也就是说太多了
Beyond that,
除此之外
BBC Future estimated the cost of launching the globe’s 2.6 trillion pounds
BBC未来频道估计将地球上每年的2.6万亿磅垃圾
of trash per year into space would be $33 quadrillion.
送入太空的成本为33千兆美元
Current global GDP sits at around $77 trillion,
当前全球GDP约为77万亿美元
which presents an obvious problem.
显然成本是一个问题
With costs this outrageous,
由于费用如此高昂
even if engineers somehow managed to
即使工程师们想办法
decrease the money needed to launch materials into space by a factor of 10,
将物资发射到太空的费用减少到10分之一
the cost of launching all the world’s trash into space
将全世界所有垃圾发射到太空的费用
would still be many,many times the global GDP.
仍将是全球GDP的许多许多倍
To add to the financial impossibilities of throwing our trash into the Sun,
将垃圾扔到太阳除了在经济上不可能之外
scientists estimate 168 million rocket launches would be needed every year
科学家们估计 每年需发射1.68亿枚火箭
to get all our trash off the Earth.
才能将地球上的所有垃圾运走
In 2019,
2019年
there were a total of 102 orbital launch attempts worldwide,
全球共有102次发射任务
only 97 of which reached orbit.
只有97次成功进入轨道
Even if every country on Earth pooled their resources,
即使地球上的每个国家都集中资源
we have nowhere near the amount of
应付每年1.68亿次发射
facilities and personnel needed to handle 168 million launches a year.
我们的人员与设施远远不够用
Using such a financially and logistically impossible system would do nothing
使用这种财政和后勤都不可能满足的体系
but make us into a planet of completely bankrupt hoarders.
只会让整个地球上的所有人都彻底破产
Of course, that’s just talking about
当然了 这只是在讨论
the cost to launch trash into space,
将垃圾发射到太空的费用
not directly into the sun.
而不是直接发射到太阳上去
The cost of doing the latter would actually be much, much higher
后者的成本实际上远远高于
than putting trash into a space orbit.
把垃圾仅送入太空
Why is that?
这是为什么呢?
Let’s just say engineers come up with a miracle
让我们假设工程师们创造了一个奇迹
that gets the cost of sending trash into the Sun
使得向太阳运输垃圾的成本
down to normal, comprehensible amounts.
降到正常 可接受的水平
How would we physically do it?
从物理角度该如何实现呢?
Well, as you’ll soon see,
正如你马上会看到的
launching rockets into the Sun is a nearly impossible task,
发射火箭到太阳是一个几乎不可能的任务
simply because of physics.
这在物理学上行不通
First of all, the sun is 93 million miles away.
首先 太阳距离我们9300万英里
So imagine you took a road trip from LA to New York,
想象一下你从洛杉矶开车到纽约
which is about 2,790 miles.
大约2790英里远
And then do it 33,333 more times.
然后再重复这趟旅程33333次
Assuming driving your imaginary space car
试想你成功驾驶着想象中的太空车
through the solar system worked
穿越太阳系去
and old age didn’t get you first,
并且你还没变老
congratulations, you’re theoretically at the sun!
恭喜你!理论上来说你就到太阳了
Except space doesn’t work like that at all,
只不过宇宙根本不这样运作
which is also why we tend to die
这也是我们在没有保护的情况下
in it without protection.
会死在太空的原因
The problem with getting into the Sun
抵达太阳的难题
isn’t just the immense amount of distance you have to cover,
不只是你要飞过的超长距离
it’s the challenge of overcoming the Earth’s angular momentum
还要克服地球的角动量
and creating a trajectory towards the Sun itself.
并规划出一条飞向太阳的轨道
Here’s the strange thing about approaching the Sun:
接近太阳时 会有一个奇怪的现象
even though the star at the center of our universe
尽管我们太阳系中心的恒星
exerts an immense gravitational pull
施加了巨大的引力
sending spacecraft towards it is actually much harder
但向它发射航天器实际上比
than sending spacecraft away from it towards the outer reaches of our solar system.
向太阳系外围发射航天器要困难得多
The reason has to do with orbital mechanics.
原因与轨道动力学有关
Basically, the Earth is circling the Sun at tremendous speeds,
简单来说 地球以惊人的速度围绕太阳公转
around 67,000 miles per hour,
大约每小时67000英里
in a sideways motion relative to the star.
相对于恒星做公转运动
This motion is good for Earth and everyone on it,
这种运动对地球本身以及所有个体都有好处
because it keeps the planet from collapsing in towards the Sun.
因为它可以防止地球落向太阳
Generally, the closer a planet is to the center of our solar system,
一般来说 一颗行星距离太阳系的中心越近
the faster it has to travel in its orbit,
它在轨道上运行得就越快
which is what makes approaching the center of the universe more challenging
也就是为什么飞向宇宙中心
than approaching the outer limits.
要比飞向太阳系外部更具挑战性
Also, when NASA wants to send a probe away from the Sun to Mars, for example
此外 比如NASA想把探测器发射到远离太阳方向的火星时
the craft can actually use Earth’s momentum to aid in its acceleration.
它还可以利用地球的动量来加速
However, to send a probe towards the Sun for example,
然而 比如要向太阳发射探测器
when NASA sent the Parker Solar Probe towards the sun in 2018
NASA在2018年向太阳发射帕克太阳探测器时
the craft has to accelerate in the opposite direction of Earth’s orbit
就必须向地球公转的相反方向加速
to match Earth’s velocity so it can cancel it out.
以与地球速度相当才能抵消它
Then, and only then,
只有到那时
can the probe start falling in an orbit inwards towards the Sun.
探测器才能开始沿朝向太阳的轨道运行
The change in velocity required to
实现从地球到太阳的轨道转移
achieve this transfer orbit from the Earth to the Sun
所需要的速度变化幅度
known as the delta-v by scientists
科学家称之为速度差
is pretty much impossible for our current spacecraft to attain.
这对目前的航天器来说是不可能实现的
The delta-v which simply speaking is how much speed a spacecraft can
速度差简单来说指的是
gain or lose to reach a certain destination,
航天器到达某个目标可以增加或减少的速度
for reaching the Sun, it has been estimated at 13.24 miles per second (21.3 km/s).
到太阳估计需要每秒13.24英里(21.3公里每秒)
But why must the probe be launched counter to Earth’s orbital velocity in the first place?
但是为什么探测器起初必须朝地球轨道反方向发射?
Well, if a probe was shot directly towards the direction of the Sun,
如果探测器直接朝向太阳发射
it would still retain Earth’s sideways momentum,
它仍会带有地球横向运动的动量
leading to it traveling in a somewhat diagonal path,
使得它会按照一种双曲线轨道飞行
missing the sun by a long shot,
有很大风险会错过太阳
and most likely settling into its own independent orbit.
并且很有可能产生其自己的独立轨道
If the probe is launched in an opposite direction from Earth’s orbit,
如果探测器沿着地球轨道反方向发射
but still not fast enough
但速度仍不足以
to completely cancel out the Earth’s 67,000 mile per hour traveling speed,
完全抵消地球67000英里每小时的速度
it would still retain some of the sideways momentum and miss the Sun.
它还会有一些公转动量并且会错过太阳
However, 67,000 miles per hour is an incredibly high speed for a space probe to attain.
然而67000英里每小时已是探测器难以达到的高速
As a comparison, the launch speed needed for a probe
相比较 探测器脱离地球引力
to overcome Earth’s gravity is around 25,000 miles per hour.
大约需要25000英里每小时的速度
Probes accelerating to get to Mars required a speed of 29,000 miles per hour
探测器到达火星需要加速到29000英里每小时
not that big a difference from the launch speed.
与发射需要的基本速度差别并不大
So this theoretical probe traveling to the Sun
所以理论上探测器飞向太阳
has to make its way to the center of the solar system
需要在前往太阳系的中心的同时
while also shedding as much sideways speed from Earth’s orbit as possible.
尽可能减少来自地球轨道的公转速度
The solution NASA came up with for the sun-bound Parker Solar Probe
NASA为帕克太阳探测器想出的方案是
was using Venus as a gravity assist.
利用金星作为引力弹弓
Gravity assists help spacecraft increase or slow down their momentum.
引力弹弓帮助探测器增加或减少动量
To put it simply, the craft swings around a planet to get a velocity boost
简单来说 探测器摆过一颗行星获得加速
from the planet’s gravity and angular momentum.
这速度来自于行星的引力和角动量
If the craft swings around the planet in a direction opposite to the planet’s orbit,
如果探测器以与行星轨道相反的方向绕行星旋转
it loses momentum instead.
它会损失动量
In the case of the Parker Solar Probe,
对于帕克太阳探测器
it will use Venus for several gravity assists
它将使用金星提供多次引力弹弓效应
in order to continue to slow down its sideways velocity
这样可以持续降低它的横向速度
and make a closer approach towards the Sun during each orbit.
每次减速后的轨道都距离太阳更近一些
Meanwhile, the Sun’s gravity will exert an increasingly stronger pull on the Parker Solar Probe each time,
同时 太阳对帕克探测器的引力逐渐增大
drawing it closer and closer to its surface with each new orbit.
每一条新轨道都将探测器拽的更靠近太阳表面
The gravity of the Sun will also rapidly increase the speed of the probe,
太阳引力也会迅速加大探测器的速度
which is expected to reach a velocity of 430,000 miles per hour (692,000 km/h)
当到达到这项任务太阳最近的距离时
when it arrives at the closest point to the Sun in its mission,
即 距离太阳表面的383万英里(600万公里)时
around 3.83 million miles (6 million kilometers) from the star’s surface.
速度预计会达到每小时4.3万英里(69.2万公里每小时)
To understand just how rapidly the probe will be moving at that time,
届时探测器的速度有多快呢
a speed of 430,000 miles per hour means it would
时速43万英里意味着
be able to travel from Washington, D.C. to Tokyo in less than a minute.
一分钟内从华盛顿飞到东京
So even though it is theoretically possible to
因此 尽管理论上可以
launch a probe full of trash towards the sun
向太阳发射一个装满垃圾的探测器
the Parker Solar Probe mission should
但帕克太阳探测器的任务
make some huge flaws in this plan obvious.
应该会让这个方案中一些重大缺陷显而易见
First of all, in order to approach the Sun as close as planned,
首先 为了尽可能接近太阳
the probe will use seven gravity assists
探测器将在7年的任务中
from Venus during a seven year long mission.
使用金星的7次引力弹弓效应
That is an extremely long mission timeframe
这是一个非常长的任务时间表
requiring a lot of set up , fuel and preparation
只是为了这一个任务
just for this one mission.
就需要大量的组织 燃料和准备工作
The cost of the Parker Solar Probe launch and mission
帕克太阳探测器发射和任务耗资
has been estimated at $1.5 billion dollars.
估计为15亿美元
If we were to multiply all the time, effort and money poured into the Parker Solar Probe mission
如果我们把所有投入帕克任务的时间 精力和金钱
by the absurdly large amount of probes we would need to get rid of Earth’s trash each year again,
乘以每年需要运输垃圾的航天器天文数目
estimated at around 168 million –
再说一次 估计需要约1.68亿枚火箭
we would need an enormous amount of people and facilities with almost unlimited funds
我们需要大量的人员和设备 使用几乎无穷无尽的资金
working on the project non-stop.
从事这项无休止的项目
Lastly, the Parker Solar Probe is only meant to get close to the Sun’s surface,
最后 帕克太阳探测器只是为了接近太阳表面
not rocket directly into the Sun itself.
而不是直接飞向太阳本身
That means that this long, arduous mission
这意味着这项漫长而艰巨的任务
doesn’t even have to cancel out all the Earth’s momentum initially,
并没有完全抵消地球的初始动量
just most of it.
只是一大部分而已
If we want to shoot our trash into the sun,
如果我们想把垃圾射向太阳
we would have to employ even faster probes
我们必须使用更快的探测器
and more fuel than the Solar Probe mission.
以及比太阳探测器任务更多的燃料
Even though a mission to launch trash into the Sun
即使向太阳发射垃圾的任务
seems daunting at the moment,
现在看起来有点吓人
the Parker Solar Probe mission shows us
帕克太阳探测器任务告诉我们
that science is expanding the limits of our capabilities every year.
科学每年都在扩展我们能力的极限
The probe has already set the record
这个探测器已经创造了新的记录
for the closest ever artificial object we have sent to the Sun,
我们向太阳发送了最接近的人造物体
beating the Helios 2 spacecraft’s record of
打破了太阳神2号飞船的记录
reaching a 26.55 million mile (42.73million kilometer) distance
1976年实现的
from the Sun’s surface in 1976.
离太阳表面2655万英里(4273万公里)的距离
So do you think we will ever develop our technology
那么你认为我们的技术
to the point where we can realistically launch our trash into the Sun?
应该向可以把垃圾发射到太阳上发展?
Or should we focus on minimizing our trash output altogether,
还是我们应该把注意力集中在减少垃圾排放上
and then coming up with more Earth-based solutions for our world’s waste problem?
然后想出更多可行的方案来解决世界的垃圾问题?
That’s something we can’t tell you,
有些事我们不能告诉你
but we would love to know what you think.
但我们很想知道你的想法
Let us know in the comments!
请在评论中告诉我们!
Now why not check out some other cool, awesome videos
现在为什么不看看其他一些很酷 很棒的视频呢?
by clicking on this one here
点击这个按钮
or perhaps you’d prefer this one instead?
或者你更喜欢这个?
Either way, click now,
不管怎样 现在点击,
because with the Infographics Show,
因为有了信息图表秀
you just can’t lose!
你什么都不会落下!

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视频概述

有趣的太空发射科普,介绍了轨道转移和引力弹弓的一些知识

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

猫头熊熊

审核员

审核员SR

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=duXGzEVf5LA

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