Thursday, March 10, 2016

Why can't we send all our garbage to the sun to be burned up...To my favorite Cubs

In theory, it sounds like the perfect solution, no? But there are a few glitches. I have asked about this before but got mostly negative responses, many people saying the cost would be too high, and it would be too difficult to get there because of the extreme heat, and the spaceship would melt, but lets just take a deep breath and have another look at it!
The real beauty and simplicity of this idea is that you dont have to go all the way to the sun, you can just dump the payload somewhere out near Mercury and turn around and gravity will do the rest! Gravity is your friend so dont fight it OK?
Also the spaceship doesnt have to be manned it can be remotely controlled so there is a huge cost saving as there is no need for a life support system, the garbage would just melt harmlessly into the sun and life would go on as always.
The government could introduce a 2% garbage tax to cover the cost, I think most people would agree that this is very reasonable. There could even be a garbage lottery to raise money for this noble cause, the Earth would be a much better place if we werent constantly surrounded by empty KFC boxes, diet pepsi bottles and used condoms, now that I have straightenedout the financial and technical problems what exactly is stopping us from getting this project off the ground?  It sounds so simple.

Weeeell, the cost is actually astronomical:

Don't forget the theory requires :
1.) A vehicle to transport to the Sun ( or nearby)
2.) The price to build the vehicle ( materials & man hours)
3.) The Fuel we will use to transport the garbage. (It would be cheaper to drive the spaceship directly into the sun -- no fuel needed for a return trip).
4.) The time (man Hours) to collect, load the garbage onto the vehicle  and guide it remotely to it's destination.
  At present, it costs several 100 million dollars to launch anything, so a single launch would cost every man, woman, and child about 3 cents per launch (which doesn't include the fuel to get to Mercury, turn around and come home). So how many launches do you think it would take to remove all the trash? I have to think it would require at least one launch for every city per day. That drives up the cost again.
The greatest cost would be just getting the vehicle past the earth's atmosphere. If we could build a space elevator, which has been already been discussed in scientific circles, and just get the garbage ship past the atmosphere, it would save a lot of money.  And if we could build a catapult on top of the space elevator, we could just catapult containers of garbage into space. That would be much cheaper. They probably would not get to the sun that way, but be pulled into Mercury's orbit and we would just be littering space because garbage just keeps coming day after day.

A second glitch to note is that if we start sending all of our trash out to outer-space we won't have much left on earth after a while to re-cycle and thus lose many possible resources.

Glitch number3:

 NASA currently has two probes orbiting the sun, so the technology exists to get the job done. Alas, the benefits fall far short of the risk involved. If we included nuclear waste in the garbage, the danger becomes ten fold.
There isn't a space agency or private firm on the planet with a spotless launch record. And we're not talking about cheapo rockets—last year, the craft carrying NASA's $280-million Orbiting Carbon Observatory fizzled out and crashed into the ocean near Antarctica. It's a bummer when a satellite ends up underwater, but it's an entirely different story if that rocket is packing a few hundred pounds of uranium. And if  it exploded above earth and the uranium caught fire, it could stay airborne and circulate for months, dusting the globe with radioactive ash. Still seem like a good idea?

The pictures below are of the river of garbage bags in the city of Beirut in Lebanon where the garbage has not been collected and removed in weeks.  They made an agreement with Russia to send all their rubbish there but the negotiations fell through. This could happen to any of us, anywhere, any time, when the collection system breaks down. They are in an environmental crisis.

Maybe we should, first, learn how to handle the waste problems better right here on earth. We all have to recycle materials that can be used again and find efficient, environmentally friendly ways to burn up waste that cannot be used. We should also  compost organic materials and return them to the earth or use them as fertilizer. Some day we will figure out how to use all waste as an energy source but that could be a hundred years from now.
Until then, being a very lazy species, we will try to find an easy way to dump stuff. The latest ideas include dumping trash in volcanoes or down a hole drilled to the center of the earth. And the one I like the best...tell the people at Cern to create a black hole and throw everything in the hole. Do you think those are good ideas? Or do you have a better one?
Love you guys
 Aunt Jeannie


  1. Aunt Jeannie ,There are just two problems humans produce an enormous amount of garbage , and rocket launches are expensive.Another thing to consider would be what would happen if there was an accident and the garbage didn’t actually get to the sun. We would have earth trash littering the outer areas of space and floating into the universe. Polluting the universe in the same way that we are polluting the earth.
    The best answer for the best way to get rid of all of the trash that humans create is to increase recycling efforts as well as reusing materials that would have been trash and forming them into new items. Many countries have established new ways to recycle and reuse and this will take a change in the way we buy things, knowing that we need to reduce the amount of garbage.
    Aunt Jeannie , we saw the picture of superman this morning before school now it is gone . all the other pictures are there and there is a lot of garbage in them , they will ned all the money in the world to ship that trash around the world .
    I think I will show it at mama meeting tomorrow , the garbage has a lot to do with climate change . Mama was talking to the group last Friday and a lady started crying saying men has ruined everything . Daddy told mama he was proud of her , she was getting some people attention . We are proud of mama to , poppa said mama did not know a thing about climate change until she met you . All the cubs put their opinions in this comment , this was a good post , Jonny and Chris always take them to NASA and the teacher gives homework on them .
    We love you very much aunt Jeannie hope you are feeling better and sending you lots and lots of love .
    Wrote by Jenny

  2. Hi Jenny and Cubs
    This question fascinated me because people would rather find an easy way out of a problem than do any hard work. And they never seem to care about the consequences of their actions. You guys are right. The answers are right here on earth. We can't afford to send trash to the sun. It would probably never make it anyway, regardless of space elevators and catapults. The stuff would probably explode in space and orbit earth or some other unfortunate planet forever. When we send a colony to Mars, we don't want them to find soda cans and beer bottles up there. The volcano idea was interesting but what if they filled the volcano and it erupted before everything burned up in the magma ? We would have a major trash explosion and it would rain down all over the country. The black hole was my favorite remedy but what's to stop the black hole from continuing to suck things into it, like the building, the scientists, the city of Cern, the country of Switzerland....etc. Hahahaha!
    The answer is educating people to dispose of things in the right way by recycling and composting. And you are correct they keep improving the methods. In our town they also collect organic garbage for special processing, even used toilet paper (yuck). But that is the way to help our planet.
    I have no idea what they are going to do in Beirut. It will take years to clean up that mess and where will they put it?
    I can't tell you how proud I am of your mama and you cubs. You are all our crusaders, knights of the round table and super heroes. You are changing the world's attitude, one convert at a time. This is a cause I will support until I die because when I was young....I was part of the problem. I helped create climate change and my conscience tells me I have to fix it. I want my grandkids to breathe clean air and see wildlife before it all becomes extinct.
    I love all you guys because I know in my heart that you are very good people.
    Lots of hugs, Aunt Jeannie


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