Ecologists assessed the danger of rocket launches for the ozone layer of the Earth
(ORDO NEWS) — Over the past decades, our planet’s ozone layer has been slowly recovering, but now it is threatened by a new danger: more frequent rocket launches.
At the end of the last century , the Earth‘s ozone layer was seriously damaged by chemicals used in the production of aerosols and refrigerants.
It was only thanks to joint international efforts (at least, many experts are of the opinion that) that the growth of ozone holes was stopped, and today the ozone layer is on the way to full recovery.
However, the ban on the production of ozone-depleting substances by the ground-based industry did not affect a threat of a different nature: rocket launches.
Soot particles, nitrogen oxides, chlorine compounds – all these substances are formed during the combustion of rocket fuel, are released into the middle and upper layers of the atmosphere and harm the ozone layer.
According to a study by environmentalists from the University of Canterbury (New Zealand), over the past five years, the number of annual rocket launches has more than doubled, and this is not the limit.
However, most researchers still consider the influence of the space industry on the ecological situation to be negligibly small.
To correct and control this situation, New Zealand researchers propose a set of measures related to both the development of more “environmentally friendly” rocket engines and the constant monitoring of harmful emissions during test launches and during a real flight.
Of course, it may seem that even an incomplete two hundred flights is not something to worry about, but in this case it is better to act proactively.
According to the researchers, the space industry is still covered with a halo of romance: while imagining the benefits that expansion promises to mankind outside the home planet, we often forget about the harm that rocket science and launching spacecraft can do to the Earth.
Therefore, they should be treated with caution, remembering that potential “new homes” are still out of our reach, and the planet we now live on is the only habitable world we know of in the cold abyss of space.
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