When I was young I remember the birth of the space programme. There would no doubt have already been Space experiments that had taken place but, as a young child I remember so well what seemed the start of a new period of man's life on Earth. Yuri Gagarin's excited blast into space and the USA's tremendous space programme left me in awe.
My mum back then would blame many of our weather problems on man's interference in the heavens. When you think about the power and force needed to propel astronauts and their vehicles into Space such damage sounds plausible. Over the years man has sent various objects into space and much space debris has been left behind. With age I find that like my mother before me I do wonder if all of this has had any detrimental affect on our weather patterns.
In recent years in my home county of Yorkshire there have been many reports of strange lights in the night sky and loud bangs. Investigations seem to indicate that some of this has been done to Space Debris re-entering earth's atmosphere.
With old satellites, rocket parts, nuts, bolts and general waste it would seem our skies are becoming just one more dumping ground. Personally I find it very sad that man, having made a mess of much of earth, is now doing the same to the heavens. Thoughtless actions have been responsible at times in the past. These days NASA has relaxed some of its stringent rules for waste management in space and is advocating adding trash to the skies.
What is worrying is that items which it has deemed to be unsafe to return to earth will be left in situ. Just how safe they will be up there then who knows. Items which have been dropped or discarded will continue to increase and obviously as with all things there must be a limit somewhere. Perhaps scientists are already planning for the end of earth and leaving this planet behind. Ultimately this will be necessary but it should be way down the line. If we carry on being irresponsible it could be sooner rather than later.
Back to the weather then.
I have not been able to find any conclusive evidence as to whether or not space programmes, exploration, and its associated waste management has had a detrimental effect on our weather. My common sense and gut instinct though seems to feel that it cannot have been beneficial. With climate change and global warming a recognised threat these days we should not exclude any possibility. Unusual weather patterns have appeared from time to time in the past but this should not make us complacent.
Only time will tell just how much that is negative, arises from our exploration of space. One thing is for sure though, we should not be treating the magical place out there as just another rubbish tip.