In 1960, the United States launched 430 million copper needles into space. Will these needles hurt people if they fall?

Since the invention of radio, the importance of communication technology has become more and more important. In the middle of the last century, countries gradually began to pay attention to the development of communication technology. Later, during the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States, although the two superpowers did not directly go to war, the smoke spread to various fields, and they competed in military, science and technology, aerospace engineering and other fields.

And communication technology can play an extremely important role in the war, so the two countries are also competing in the field of communication technology. The United States can be said to be very selfish, regardless of the serious consequences it may cause, forcibly trying to launch 500 million copper needles into space. What is going on?

West Ford Project

  In the middle of the last century, ultra-long-distance communication technology mainly relied on two methods, one was relying on submarine cables, and the other was radio communication that relied on the ionospheric reflection in the atmosphere.

However, submarine cables are more stable and reliable than radio communications through ionospheric reflection. At that time, the United States was worried that if there were frictions or even wars with the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union was likely to cut the United States' submarine cables, and the United States would have to rely on radio communications from unstable ionospheric reflections. The loss of stable communications facilities means that when the United States is fighting the Soviet Union, it cannot even guarantee basic communications with front-line forces, and it will be difficult to win this battle. As a result, they began to seek a reliable method of global communication.

  At this time, someone proposed a bold plan: the West Ford Project, or the West Ford Needle Project . In this plan, the United States plans to launch a copper dipole antenna into space with a length of about 1.78 cm. With a diameter of only 25.4 microns, it is like a "needle", so it is also called a Seifford needle, but here is one more thing to say, the Seifford needle is thinner than a hair.

Their plan is to launch 430 million "Sifford needles" into space at a height of more than 3,800 kilometers from the ground. These "Sifford needles" can form a needle-shaped ring cloud of about 8 kilometers. To put it bluntly, they will construct one in space. The "artificial ionosphere," and then the satellite antenna on the ground, can be used as an auxiliary remote communication device for communication. Not only is the signal stable, but the Soviet Union can't easily destroy it.

This plan is arranged in the town of West Ford in the United States, so communication equipment is also planned to be installed here. The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is entrusted by the US military to implement this plan.

  According to the American plan, the first batch of "Sifford Needles" was launched on October 21, 1961, but the plan failed. So, on May 9, 1963, the second launch was carried out, this time it was successful, and an artificial ring-shaped needle cloud was formed in the orbit.

Plan revealed

  When the United States implemented the West Ford project, it did not disclose it to the outside world, but space is a public resource. At the very least, all countries must agree to launch so many "Sifford needles" into space at one time. But the United States has always been domineering and selfish. It has never told any country, let alone implemented its plan without permission.

  Later, the Royal Astronomical Society learned about the incident and exposed it. Astronomers also called for a protest together. Of course, the Soviet Union will not let go of this good opportunity, but also jumped out to accuse the United States of tarnishing the universe. In the end, this incident was stabbed to the United Nations. Due to strong opposition and protests from countries and circles around the world, the United States could only terminate the West Ford project. And during that time, the communications technology industry also experienced unprecedented vigorous development, which also made the technology that West Ford plans to adopt obsolete.

Although the West Ford project was terminated, the evil consequences planted by the United States have not been eliminated so quickly.

  Unwilling to admit responsibility, the United States quibbled at the meeting: under the influence of the solar wind, these West Ford needles will leave orbit and return to the atmosphere within three years. Therefore, the United States did not do any treatment with these West Ford needles.

The "bad fruit" planted by the United States

  So the question is, will these Sift needles fall to the ground and pierce people? If such an accident does happen, who is to blame?

  In fact, most of these Syford needles are still in their own orbits, and only a small part will return to the atmosphere. When they fall in the atmosphere, because they are too small and too small, they will be affected by friction with the atmosphere. Burned out. Although it will not have a serious impact on the ground, this is not a reason why the United States can launch and not clean up the West Ford needle at will. If all countries learn from the United States, the earth and space will face unprecedented pressure, and the earth will be wrapped in a layer of "needles", and human probes can easily be hit by these "needles" in orbit.

Only a small part of the West Ford needle launched by the United States returned to the atmosphere. At an altitude of 3,500 to 3,800 kilometers from the ground, there are also a large number of second-launched Sift needles, which naturally become space junk. Their existence is a safety hazard to the rockets and spacecrafts of various countries. Therefore, this behavior of the United States should be strongly condemned, and the West Ford needles on the track should be cleaned up.

Via: Netease 

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