Uranocatharsis project, space debris as cloud-sculptures shading our planet

Ioannis Michaloudis, Isadora Sau Lan Mack

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    Our title Uranocatharsis is an invented word from Uranos (“sky”) and catharsis (“cleansing”, “purgation”). This paper and our in situ installation will present our concept of clearing the sky from orbital debris, not by reentering them into our atmosphere, but by using them as clouds for shading our overheated planet. The idea of this paper derives from the famous dialogue between Alexander the Great and Diogénis the Cynic. “What favor would you want me to do for you?” asks the conqueror. And the philosopher gives him the legendary reply: “aposkótisón me” “move a little bit aside because you hide me the sun”. Already, as we read this abstract, space debris is hiding part of the sunlight from us: two main debris fields are in space: first the ring of objects in geosynchronous orbit (GEO) then the cloud of objects in low earth orbit (LEO). If the removal of the debris is exorbitant and nobody wants to collect the junk left by others, then we risk completely hiding the sun from Earth… Nevertheless, what if instead of blaming others for the space debris, we collect this waste and we form some giant space sculptures having the forms of enormous clouds/parasols? Then we could place them over the most exposed to the sunlight areas of our planet. This discussion will be developed based on one of our artworks titled hEartH created by using the space technology nanomaterial silica aerogel, the lightest solid on the world and the best known heat insulator.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60
    Number of pages1
    JournalJournal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    Event5th International Conference on Earth Science & Climate Change July 25-27, 2016, - Bangkok, Thailand
    Duration: 25 Jul 201627 Jul 2016

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