Is Space Travel Bad For Our Environment?

When we launch spacecraft into orbit, we are using rockets which head up toward outer space. As the rocket goes through the troposphere and stratosphere, it will eventually have a stage on the rocket that will affect the ozone layer. Many studies have shown that holes in the ozone layer are caused by natural effects which is why there is very little ozone at the South Pole. However, when we are launching rockets, due to the type of fuel that is being used, it can actually have an adverse reaction on our ozone layer which is what protects us from harmful solar radiation that can cause cancer.

Is There A Way To Resolve This?

There are a couple of ways that this can be resolved. First of all, we could use a completely different type of fuel, or a different mechanism, by which to get satellites and supplies into space. Although we do not do a significant number of launches, each time that we do this, it is impacting the ozone layer to a small degree. It may be possible for different types of propulsion to be created that will prevent the ozone layer from being affected at all. Perhaps on the final stage of the rocket, different fuel could be used, or some type of propulsion system, that would not compromise the ozone levels.

Other Problems With Space Travel That Affect The Environment

Another problem that is bad for the atmosphere, in general, is that these rockets can sometimes burn what people referred to as dirty fuel. It is possible that nitric acid, plutonium, and many other substances can get into the clouds, causing acid rain and other forms of precipitation to fall that are not good for people down below. However, it is this launching up and through the ozone layer that is contributing to the problem that we have and that needs to be a primary focus. Perhaps a new form of propulsion will be created that will no longer require rocket fuel and this can help solve the problem.