Climate damage caused by growing space tourism needs urgent mitigation

University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) used a 3D model to explore the impact of rocket launches and re-entry in 2019.

The team found that black carbon (soot) particles emitted by rockets are almost 500 times more efficient at holding heat in the atmosphere than all other sources.

They also used the recent demonstrations by space tourism entrepreneurs Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin...

and SpaceX and proposed yearly offerings of at least daily launches by Virgin Galactic to construct a scenario of a future formidable space tourism industry.

The study revealed that the current loss of total ozone due to rockets is small, current growth trends...

...around space tourism indicate potential for future climate damage and depletion of the upper stratospheric ozone layer.

Warming due to soot is 3.9 mW m-2 from a decade of contemporary rockets, which is more than doubles...

(7.9 mW m-2) after just three years of additional emissions from space tourism launches, reason is use of hybrid synthetic rubber fuels by Virgin Galactic and kerosene by SpaceX.

This study shows that we should start protect stratospheric ozone layer and prevent climate change from space tourism.

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