Wednesday, 5 June 2019


Researchers in the United Kingdom have successfully and safely brought down a demonstration satellite, unfurling an “Icarus” sail to drag the craft into the atmosphere and burning up on re-entry, mindful of how we’ve junked up low Earth orbit and if we continue on the present trajectory, yet to come launches and exploration might be imperilled or even rendered impossible.  Planned obsolescence to include a self-destruct feature is a bit sad—especially considering how our over-engineered, hardy pioneers have many times far exceeded our expectations, but we also don’t need unnecessary and derelict obstacles to future flights.