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The Economics of Low Earth Orbit Pollution
Exhibit Code: OUT-0420
Zone: The Think Tank
Location: Outside (OUT/000) - Outside
Time: All Day
Appropriate for all ages? Yes
Low Earth orbit (LEO) pollution from satellites is of increasing concern. What has caused the pollution levels of the present LEO environment? We show that the problem mirrors a tragedy of the commons scenario. A key factor is that satellite launchers inefficiently discount the exponential creation of debris as satellites collide over time. We explore how this inefficiency can be corrected.