Clockwise from top left: Professor Linares and graduate students Adriana Mitchell, Thomas González Roberts, and Miles Lifson.

Corridor: ARCLab, making space sustainable

When the first satellites entered Earth’s orbit in the mid-20th century, it seemed impossible that space would ever want for, well, space. But the steady increase of spacecraft in low Earth orbit (LEO)—up to 1,200 miles from the Earth’s surface—has risen steadily since then, with an exponential leap in the past decade. The risk of collisions and debris in LEO looms large while remaining out of most Earth-dwellers’ sights.

“Our future as a spacefaring civilization could be at risk due to this debris,” says Richard Linares, the Rockwell International Career Development Professor and ARCLab lead. . “There’s a global need for us to come together and understand how we can ensure that space becomes sustainable.” 

Linares and grad students Miles Lifson, Adriana Macieira Mitchell, and Thomas González Roberts (pictured above) share ARCLab’s work in the spring issue of Corridor from MIT.