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TWA772LR
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Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 7:08 am

Ok maybe not interstellar, but definitely off planet.

A thought occurred when I was driving to work. Reusable rockets offered by the likes of Musk and Bezos are all the rage right now. Well, instead of launching your daily driver in to Martian orbit, why not do humanity a favor and start emptying landfills and shooting human waste and garbage in to the Sun?

I can't stress enough that this was just a random thought so don't flame me too hard. But with the massive increase in space launches and the age of reusable rockets, whats stopping regular launches of waste in to the Sun, the solar systems largest incinerator?
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Airstud
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 7:11 am

TWA772LR wrote:
whats stopping regular launches of waste in to the Sun?


The knowledge that we don't thorougly understand everything about the origin and makeup of the Sun and how it works...

...coupled, thus, with the possibility of revenge.
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fr8mech
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 7:13 am

How much weight do you think those things lift? How much does it cost to lift that weight? How much waste is generated?

Do you see the problem?
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Redd
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 8:58 am

TWA772LR wrote:
Ok maybe not interstellar, but definitely off planet.

why not do humanity a favor and start emptying landfills and shooting human waste and garbage in to the Sun?



Cost. Space X is the cheapest way to get something into space and it's Falcon 9 costs $62 million per launch, the Falcon 9 Heavy is closer to $90 million. The Heavy version can 'only' take 9,500Kg per launch which is equivalent to less than the capacity of two standard garbage trucks. So the cost would be roughly $70 million dollars per garbage truck load. Keep in mind that the Falcon rockets can only launch in Earth orbit and the cost would be more than double or triple if we wanted to get that garbage beyond earth orbit. We wouldn't want that garbage floating around the earth as a major hazard to our space flights and satellites.

Then there are the ethics and science involved, which haven't been explored, at least to my knowledge. What if any would be the potential repercussions of such a venture?
 
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flyingturtle
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 10:25 am

TWA772LR wrote:
whats stopping regular launches of waste in to the Sun, the solar systems largest incinerator?


Physics. The braking maneuvers needed to reach the Sun, diving into its gravity well, are horrendous. They still make grown engineers weep.

Just an example: The trajectory of the Parker Solar Probe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Solar_Probe and https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index. ... vity_Wells for a visualization of the energies needed.
Reading accident reports is what calms me down
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 10:44 am

TWA772LR wrote:
why not do humanity a favor and start emptying landfills and shooting human waste and garbage in to the Sun?


I don't see it as a favor, because if, putting aside all the physics and costs related problems, we could manage to do it, it wouldn't stop the problem. Humanity has to face and learn how to deal with its own shit, that also means learning to reduce all the garbage produced. Otherwise sending it to the Sun would only be a way to avoid the problem. One could consider sending them into near space to burn them in the atmosphere, over our heads.
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 11:04 am

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Humanity has to face and learn how to deal with its own shit, that also means learning to reduce all the garbage produced. Otherwise sending it to the Sun would only be a way to avoid the problem.


Wouldn’t sending the crap into The Sun be a way that humanity is actually dealing with the problem?

The only reason garbage production would need to be reduced is because we may run out of room for it. Launching the garbage into The Sun would be a good way to get rid of it, and alleviating the space problem on Earth, if it could be done in a cost-effective manner.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 11:38 am

fr8mech wrote:
Wouldn’t sending the crap into The Sun be a way that humanity is actually dealing with the problem?


Sadly I don't think so. It would only serve as an excuse to keep things as they are here on Earth on the matter of garbage production.
 
c933103
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 12:47 pm

If you have all the fuels that send waste onto the space, why don't you jist burn them all?
And there're already enough space waste up there
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Aesma
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 1:10 pm

In the EU at least there are regulations to reduce landfilling, in France what is being debated now is to ban the practice completely.

Sending waste into space is like using an atomic bomb to kill weeds, it makes no sense.

It has been studied though, but only for nuclear waste. The result of the studies is that it would be too expensive, and way too risky, if the rocket blows up in the atmosphere, you're now facing a calamity far worse than just having improperly stored waste somewhere.

As an aside, if you sent all that stuff into space instead of recycling it one way or the other, then you're making the planet poorer. At some point you'd need to get stuff from space in exchange for it, metals in particular.
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golfradio
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 1:54 pm

Malon, anyone?

(For those who get that reference)
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Redd
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 2:55 pm

fr8mech wrote:
SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Humanity has to face and learn how to deal with its own shit, that also means learning to reduce all the garbage produced. Otherwise sending it to the Sun would only be a way to avoid the problem.


Wouldn’t sending the crap into The Sun be a way that humanity is actually dealing with the problem?



At several hundred million dollars per garbage truckload? Have you not read my post? :banghead:
 
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readytotaxi
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 3:30 pm

Reduce the waste, we have become a disposable society and think that it is acceptable, ant and termites can teach us a thing or two.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 3:58 pm

readytotaxi wrote:
Reduce the waste, we have become a disposable society and think that it is acceptable, ant and termites can teach us a thing or two.


Exactly, that's why I'm not for sending stuff away.
 
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Tugger
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 5:46 pm

flyingturtle wrote:
TWA772LR wrote:
whats stopping regular launches of waste in to the Sun, the solar systems largest incinerator?


Physics. The braking maneuvers needed to reach the Sun, diving into its gravity well, are horrendous. They still make grown engineers weep.

Just an example: The trajectory of the Parker Solar Probe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parker_Solar_Probe and https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index. ... vity_Wells for a visualization of the energies needed.

This. :house:

I never realized how crazy hard it is to overcome orbital dynamics and energies till it was pointed out here (A.net, a few years ago) and I looked into it.


readytotaxi wrote:
Reduce the waste, we have become a disposable society and think that it is acceptable, ant and termites can teach us a thing or two.


I have come to think that all items that are manufactured need to be required to be returned to be recycled at the end their life. It would capture the actual true cost of items wee make and use.

Of course businesses and I am sure a lot of (I think short sighted) people would cry about how it would make things too expensive and would damage (or destroy) modern commerce and consumerism, etc. It would solve a lot of problems though.

Tugg
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fr8mech
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 6:05 pm

Redd wrote:
At several hundred million dollars per garbage truckload? Have you not read my post? :banghead:


My post came first and talked about weight, which is the same as cost when it comes to space flight.

I was commented on the fact that launching our crap into the sun would be a way of dealing with the problem:

fr8mech wrote:
if it could be done in a cost-effective manner.


Didn’t you read my post? :banghead:
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Tugger
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 6:53 pm

And by the way, have you all NOT seen Futurama and the Great Garbage Ball episode!?!
Image

It won't work, it'll will all just came back at some point to haunt us and kill us all! Run screaming for the hills!
Image

:biggrin:
Tugg
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TWA772LR
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 7:43 pm

Tugger wrote:
And by the way, have you all NOT seen Futurama and the Great Garbage Ball episode!?!
Image

It won't work, it'll will all just came back at some point to haunt us and kill us all! Run screaming for the hills!
Image

:biggrin:
Tugg

That's when you hit it with another garbage ball! :biggrin:
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flyingturtle
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 7:54 pm

Tugger wrote:
And by the way, have you all NOT seen Futurama and the Great Garbage Ball episode!?!


ROFL!!!

Tugger wrote:
I never realized how crazy hard it is to overcome orbital dynamics and energies till it was pointed out here (A.net, a few years ago) and I looked into it.


My epiphany came with playing Kerbal Space Program. An adept KSP gamer knows how hard it can be. One of the missions calls for a placing a satellite in a polar orbit. Around the sun... :eyepopping: :eyepopping: :eyepopping:
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JJJ
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 8:12 pm

c933103 wrote:
If you have all the fuels that send waste onto the space, why don't you jist burn them all?
And there're already enough space waste up there


Exactly. With the fuel (and accompanying emissions) to launch a single garbage truck to space you can probably incinerate several multiples of it.
 
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einsteinboricua
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 8:26 pm

If you're gonna send something to the Sun, it might as well be a one-way trip. There wouldn't be nearly enough capacity or fuel power to launch all our garbage into space. Someone may suggest sending it to Venus. The garbage would incinerate long before it even reached the surface, but again, reusable technology is not advanced enough to do all this.

Another issue with this: we'd be destroying material that we could recycle. Those space probes exploring outer space? That's iron that will never return. Granted those are only a tiny portion of the iron the planet currently has, but the bottom line is that it's a finite resource.

Airstud wrote:
The knowledge that we don't thorougly understand everything about the origin and makeup of the Sun and how it works...

The Sun is just a ball of heated hydrogen plasma. Besides, the surface of the Sun is only the 3rd warmest part of it. The core, obviously, is where fusion happens and that's in the order of millions of degrees, but the second hottest part is the corona. Any material that wants to land on the surface first needs to make it through this part of the Sun. Odds are it will be vaporized. If anything should make it through, it's likely that the surface will finish the job.
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trpmb6
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 10:24 pm

Orbital mechanics are fun. Was two of my favorite courses in college. To add to the previous comments, the reusable rockets SpaceX uses are only good for low earth orbit. SpaceX has launched a couple satellites into geo orbit. But when they do that, they have to carry along extra fuel and can't utilize that fuel for bringing it back and landing. So the rocket is no longer reusable.

To be clear, they are developing the BFM to do that and more which will have reusable tech. So it's not out of the question. Just like to note that the current payload numbers listed above are for low earth orbit. So most likely, you wouldn't even get a pickup truck load out there.
 
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stl07
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sat May 18, 2019 11:42 pm

Well before we had car/train/plan transportation to know that the world existed way beyond what you see in everyday life, people sent their trash "away" into the rivers since it was carried far away. That didn't work too well and came back to bite us. Isn't this the same thing??
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fr8mech
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sun May 19, 2019 4:58 pm

stl07 wrote:
Well before we had car/train/plan transportation to know that the world existed way beyond what you see in everyday life, people sent their trash "away" into the rivers since it was carried far away. That didn't work too well and came back to bite us. Isn't this the same thing??


If you get passed the economic and technical hurdles, there really is no comparison. As stated above, the trash would be vaporized. Poof! I guess that at a sub-atomic level the stuff has been transformed into other stuff that would exist in the nuclear reaction that is The Sun.

The only problematic thing I see, and I’m not really sure it would be a problem, is the net reduction in the mass of the Earth.

Let’s say we get over the economic and technical issues and we launch millions upon millions upon millions of kilograms (we are talking sciency stuff here, so...metric) of garbage into The Sun, does that reduction of mass on Earth present us with any issues?
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Tugger
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sun May 19, 2019 6:13 pm

It would probably be much easier and just as effective to send our trash into Jupiter. You'll end up with the same result.
(Not that it would make it actually cost effective or the right thing to do).

Tugg
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Dutchy
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Sun May 19, 2019 7:32 pm

Garbages are the new mines. Why send it off the planet if you could use it again, or at least the materials. The circular society.
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Redd
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 5:38 am

fr8mech wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
if it could be done in a cost-effective manner.


Didn’t you read my post? :banghead:



But it can't, and never will be possible to do in a cost-effective manner. It'd e like saying, wouldn't it be wonderful if we all could fly? Damn right it would, but it won't happen.
 
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Aesma
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 8:13 am

With a space elevator maybe. But only for dangerous garbage, not the garden variety.
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DL717
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 12:46 pm

I’d rather they use them for multiple missions to remove space junk. There is so much crap up there floating around it’s going to become increasingly difficult, if not impossible to track.
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dtw2hyd
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 1:01 pm

Or, make it illegal to transport trash across city limits.
 
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T18
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 3:30 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
Or, make it illegal to transport trash across city limits.

But that was the best way I could make extra money for my city in SimCity4. Now y'all want to kill the economy of Garbotroplis too?
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trpmb6
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 4:31 pm

T18 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Or, make it illegal to transport trash across city limits.

But that was the best way I could make extra money for my city in SimCity4. Now y'all want to kill the economy of Garbotroplis too?


I love the idea that there could be a city or country or planet out there where the group of people's single driver in life is to clean up other people's trash and profit from it. What if they got unimaginably efficient at doing so.

Also the correct city would be Garbopolis.
 
dtw2hyd
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Wed May 29, 2019 4:41 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
What if they got unimaginably efficient at doing so.


I think most cities and countries perfected that, by shipping trash to China, Malaysia or the next sucker country.

What makes me mad is the dog and pony show of curbside recycling, you get one item wrong in sorting, the city puts an orange sticker and doesn't want to pick up.

There is no need to throw away so many relatively new appliances in the USA. Make repairs expensive, force customers to buy cheaper lighter versions of the same crap, offer pickup, part out and make money.
 
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TWA772LR
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Thu May 30, 2019 3:52 am

trpmb6 wrote:
T18 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
Or, make it illegal to transport trash across city limits.

But that was the best way I could make extra money for my city in SimCity4. Now y'all want to kill the economy of Garbotroplis too?


I love the idea that there could be a city or country or planet out there where the group of people's single driver in life is to clean up other people's trash and profit from it. What if they got unimaginably efficient at doing so.

Also the correct city would be Garbopolis.

To revisit the Futrama example, it's called the Third World.
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trpmb6
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Thu May 30, 2019 12:18 pm

dtw2hyd wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
What if they got unimaginably efficient at doing so.


I think most cities and countries perfected that, by shipping trash to China, Malaysia or the next sucker country.

What makes me mad is the dog and pony show of curbside recycling, you get one item wrong in sorting, the city puts an orange sticker and doesn't want to pick up.

There is no need to throw away so many relatively new appliances in the USA. Make repairs expensive, force customers to buy cheaper lighter versions of the same crap, offer pickup, part out and make money.


To elaborate on something I meant to post here yesterday. China has actually started to reject some of our recycling because it isn't sorted enough. I guess the quality of the materials we throw into our bins aren't even enough for them to make it worth while.
 
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casinterest
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Re: Garbage disposal, interstellar?

Thu May 30, 2019 6:39 pm

trpmb6 wrote:
dtw2hyd wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:
What if they got unimaginably efficient at doing so.


I think most cities and countries perfected that, by shipping trash to China, Malaysia or the next sucker country.

What makes me mad is the dog and pony show of curbside recycling, you get one item wrong in sorting, the city puts an orange sticker and doesn't want to pick up.

There is no need to throw away so many relatively new appliances in the USA. Make repairs expensive, force customers to buy cheaper lighter versions of the same crap, offer pickup, part out and make money.


To elaborate on something I meant to post here yesterday. China has actually started to reject some of our recycling because it isn't sorted enough. I guess the quality of the materials we throw into our bins aren't even enough for them to make it worth while.


I remember in my tired days of newborns, I once dumped the whole load of dirty diapers in the recycle can, and only realized it after I got a note from the waste management company.
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