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Author Topic: What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?  (Read 4469 times)

Offline Jenguin

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Jennifer Valsler  asked the Naked Scientists:

Dear Naked Scientists,

I was wondering...

While we are being encouraged to reduce our individual carbon footprints
by turning our thermostats down by 1 degree, turning washing machines down to 30 degrees and walking or cycling instead of taking unnecessary car journeys, wouldn't we actually meet all international carbon emission targets purely by terminating all space programmes?  

In other words, how much do space missions contribute to our global carbon footprint?

Many thanks!

Jen.

What do you think?


 

Offline neilep

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What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?
« Reply #1 on: 12/06/2008 13:26:10 »
Hi Jennifer,

That's a good question.


You know ?...despite those shuttle and rocket launches burning up a ferocious amount of fuel...I think...in the grand scheme of things their contribution is very minimal compared to the daily airborne traffic...

...however..it would be great for someone to actually do the maths..
 

Offline Bored chemist

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What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/2008 19:03:58 »
I guess most of the money spent by NASA is spent on wages- directly or indirectly.
The people who are paid drive cars and use air conditioners.
If they weren't working for NASA they would probably work for someone else and they would still use cars and aircon.
I don't think it really makes all that much difference.
 

Offline frethack

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What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?
« Reply #3 on: 13/06/2008 02:06:54 »
The worlds space agencies are also responsible in part for development of some of the green technologies we use today.
 

blakestyger

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What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?
« Reply #4 on: 14/07/2008 19:29:21 »
I may be wrong but I think that the combustion products of rockets like Apollo used are just heat and water vapour - so that bit may have a relatively small footprint.
 

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What is the carbon footprint of the space programme?
« Reply #4 on: 14/07/2008 19:29:21 »

 

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