Hu­man­ity Star just space junk

The New Zealand Herald - - EDITORIAL & LETTERS -

Much as I ap­plaud Peter Beck and Rocket Lab’s achieve­ments, I sadly de­plore the plac­ing of an­other piece of space junk in or­bit, no mat­ter the high ideals voiced to sup­port the idea. The glit­ter ball (Hu­man­ity Star) is just pol­lu­tion of the al­ready crowded near-Earth or­bital zone, and of the night sky.

As as­tronomers and night sky watch­ers know, there are plenty of satel­lites and dis­carded rocket stages clut­ter­ing nearspace, and can be seen or­bit­ing in their thou­sands. Usu­ally at least one is vis­i­ble at any given mo­ment at night.

We have plenty of nat­u­ral won­der in the night sky to stir our deeper thoughts with­out hu­man­ity stamp­ing its care­less foot­print all over one of the last re­main­ing fron­tiers. Many places on Earth can no longer see much of the true beauty of the nat­u­ral night sky, thanks to light pol­lu­tion.

Please, Mr Beck, don’t put an­other Hu­man­ity Star up when this one falls out of or­bit. Leave the vis­ual panorama of stars, moon and plan­ets alone. Don’t put any more un­nec­es­sary space junk up, and think what you can do to help pre­serve the re­main­ing dark skies such as we in New Zealand en­joy.

Roger Hand­ford, Gis­borne.

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