FRED ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS
Could you dump our unwanted waste into the Sun?
This is a tempting idea, particularly where nuclear waste is concerned, but it’s beset with problems. The most fundamental is that dropping anything into the Sun means it has to be placed in an orbit that will intersect the solar surface, and that requires a huge amount of energy. The spacecraft has to lose most of the Earth’s orbital speed of 30 km/second by firing its rockets against the Earth’s motion, and would then use at least one gravity-assisted fly-by of another planet. It looks as if we’re stuck with our rubbish, at least for now.
If you have a space question for Fred, email it to edito[email protected]geo.com.au