Tarry for the Nonce

August 29, 2005

Even Sunlight Can’t Penetrate

Filed under: Rambles — lmwalker @ 11:55 am

The atmosphere in Low Earth Orbit is increasingly being polluted with man made debris. Studies have discovered that satellites retrieved from orbit are coated with a very thin layer of fecal matter, sufficiently dense to degrade solar panel efficiency.

If it weren’t for Mike Magin, I never would have known.

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5 Comments

  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa.

    Poop in LEO? I have a very hard time believing that poop particles manage to become airborne in significant amounts to populate LEO. For one, they would have to be accelerated to a velocity high enough to make it orbital. Not to mention that poop molecules are a lot heavier than the molecular oxygen and nitrogen that make up the very thin atmosphere up there. Plus how does this equate to human pollution? I wager that human poop is vastly outweighed by all the poop of all the other mammals, reptiles and everything else on the planet. Is some country launching poop buckets from a rail gun?

    I don’t know. Without a credible link to these “studies”, I’d chalk this up to Wikipedia vandalism. I’m tempted to edit that sentence out and put a note to substantiate it if they want it put back.

    Screws and paint chips, sure. Poop mist? That’s got to be bullshit.

    Comment by Mark — August 29, 2005 @ 1:19 pm

  2. Ok, so it turns out that this is sort of true. I’m off to fix the article to have a reference and to specify that this is pollution caused by dumping space toilets while in space itself. What it didn’t say was anything about degradation of solar panel efficiency. A quick google search didn’t turn up anything relevant either.

    Comment by Mark — August 29, 2005 @ 2:08 pm

  3. Wow, my powers of critical thinking were right again…so all those years of sending folks up into orbit are turning our planet to sh*t!

    Hopefully its human sh*t and not alien sh*t!!!

    :o)

    Comment by Andrew P. — August 29, 2005 @ 3:46 pm

  4. I have a very hard time believing that poop particles manage to become airborne in significant amounts to populate LEO. For one, they would have to be accelerated to a velocity high enough to make it orbital.

    [Insert your own Taco Bell quip here]

    Comment by Toly — August 29, 2005 @ 10:35 pm

  5. Toly…I have 4 letters to say to you…R.O.F.L!!!

    Comment by Alistair A, — August 30, 2005 @ 10:21 pm


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