Space Tourism: A New Threat to the Ozone Layer

The Ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays, is under threat once again. This time, the threat comes from the growing space tourism industry. Researchers from the University of Canterbury have written in the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand that rocket launches and space debris could potentially damage the Ozone layer and undo the progress made to slow down its depletion. Ozone Layer on Track to Fully Recover by 2066, UN Report Reveals.

Rockets Release Harmful Chemicals

Space Tourism Rocket launches release harmful chemicals directly into the middle and upper atmosphere where the Ozone layer resides. In addition, the debris that falls back to Earth while burning in the atmosphere further damages the Ozone layer.

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“We’ve seen rocket launches almost doubling in three years and there are missions aiming towards launching up to as many as three rockets a day, which is just unprecedented,” warns Dr. Eloise Marais, Associate Professor in Physical Geography at University College London.

Lack of Regulation in the Space Tourism

Unfortunately, the pollution from rocket launches and the disposal of space junk is not regulated under any framework. With the potential for growth in the space sector, the researchers have reason to be concerned. The lack of regulation could put the progress made to slow down Ozone depletion at risk.

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The Ozone layer is essential for the well-being of humankind and the protection of life on Earth. The potential harm from the growing space exploration industry highlights the importance of considering the environmental impact of our actions. The lack of regulation in the space sector raises concerns and calls for immediate action to ensure that the Ozone layer remains protected for generations to come.

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