The New Zealand Herald

Humanity Star just space junk


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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