SpaceX Causes Negative Environmental Impacts

Courtesy of SpaceX- imagery

Courtesy of SpaceX- imagery

Drake Chambless, Staff Writer

Throughout 2020 and 2021, billionaires such as Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos have been competing in a modern day space race to gain dominance in the growing industries  of space exploration and popularity, but the rocket launches and fuels being burned could be having a negative impact on our environment.

     Companies such as Virgin Galactic, SpaceX and Blue Origin are the largest competitors in the fight for stellar dominance. Each company is directed and owned by some of the richest men worldwide and have an almost endless amount of money for development. Not only are they funded by these men, but they are also getting government funding from NASA. 

     “The Falcon Heavy, the world’s heaviest rocket, burns 400 metric tonnes of kerosene and emits more carbon dioxide in a few minutes than a car would in two centuries,” LA Times Reporter David Verbeek said. “That kind of shock to the atmosphere is stoking concerns about the effect that launching into orbit has on Earth, and it’s about to get worse.”

     The immediate effect from these launches is not seen immediately, but long term it will slowly deteriorate the atmosphere until humanity will no longer have a safe environment to live and breathe in.

     New launches from SpaceX are beginning to use a methane based fuel. The good part about the new fuel is that methane is a greenhouse gas, and when burned it produces water and carbon dioxide. Both these elements are still harmful in gaseous forms but much less harmful than previous fuel emissions.

     With a future bound for space travel and possible habitation of other stellar bodies, companies using these pollutant fuels will have to change for the better to lessen emissions and clean the environment. If the launches continue using the fuel they use without thinking of the environment, the Earth’s atmosphere will continue to deteriorate and Earth will continue to warm until it is no longer habitable.