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Germany

Space Junk, Time To Clean The Mass Of Debris Orbiting Earth

From bulky satellite corpses to tiny metal splinters, the Earth is surrounded by a cloud of space debris. But now there are plans for a groundbreaking clean-up.

More than 12,000 trackable items of space debris orbit the Earth
More than 12,000 trackable items of space debris orbit the Earth
Alexander Stirn

UEDEM — Two non-descript containers in this northwest German town help track the dangers of collisions in outer space. The "Space Situational Awareness Center," operated by the German Federal Armed Forces does not, however, protect Germany and the rest of the world from little green men or other space villains with laser guns. The dangers mentioned above are simply made of debris.

More than 20,000 objects, with a diameter of at least 10 centimeters (4 inches), are orbiting earth in uncontrollable circuits. These include broken satellites, burned-out rocket fuel cells, and general debris from collisions or targeted destruction procedures. In addition to that, you have about 750,000 pieces measuring 1 centimeter (0.4 inches) that are not detectable from Earth.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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