SpaceX and Virgin Galactic can destroy the planet: what scientists say
Scientists from University College London conducted a study and found that emissions from Elon Musk’s SpaceX rockets and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket planes can interfere with the restoration of the ozone layer and contribute to a stronger retention of heat in the atmosphere than all known sources of greenhouse gases.
In the course of the study, scientists found that black carbon particles that enter the atmosphere from the spent rocket fuel of two American billionaires are 500 times more efficient at keeping heat in the atmosphere than all other sources of greenhouse emissions combined. Thus, global warming is increasing on the planet. In addition, frequent rocket launches with space tourists can stop the recovery of the ozone layer, which protects our planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Threat to the planet from space tourism
Scientists have come to such disappointing conclusions by drawing up future flight scenarios that show that with frequent launches every day or even every week, catastrophic consequences for the planet cannot be avoided.
The space tourism boom, led by three US companies, SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, began in 2021. The number of launches of rockets with space tourists will increase and will be even more, scientists say. And it can cause huge damage to the environment.
But the use of certain fuels by SpaceX and Virgin Galactic will lead to even more global warming and halt the recovery of the ozone layer that began with the Montreal Protocol, which went into effect in 1989. This document obliged the countries of the world to abandon the production of substances that destroy the ozone layer, and as a result, over the past decades, it has begun its recovery.
We need to take the necessary measures to save the Earth
“Our study shows that black carbon particles, which are emissions from the named companies’ tourist space rockets, have a much greater impact on the climate than airplanes and other sources of greenhouse gases on Earth. We need to start regulating this booming space tourism industry,” says Eloise Marais from University College London.
According to Marais colleague Robert Ryan, the ozone layer has begun to recover best in the upper stratosphere, but this is where the impact of emissions from tourist rockets will be most severe in the near future.
“These are really massive changes in the ozone layer that threaten its recovery. We also want to find out what effect emissions from commercial launches have on the atmosphere at launch and on return. We also aim to study other fuels that are currently used or will be used in other rockets. You need to understand all the consequences that the era of space tourism brings with it, ”says Ryan.
According to scientists, the necessary measures must be taken now, otherwise climate change will become even stronger, and a huge hole will appear in the ozone layer again, as it was already in the early 80s of the last century.
We remind you that SpaceX for the first time sent a group of tourists to the ISS, each of which paid $ 55 million for the flight.