Planned growth in rocket lift-offs for space tourism, moon landings, and possibly travel to Mars has a lot of dreams of a new era of space research. However, an NOAA study indicates that a substantial boost in spaceflight activity may harm the protective ozone coating on the one planet we dwell.
Kerosene-burning rocket engines widely utilized by the global launch industry radiate exhaust comprising black carbon, or soot, directly into the stratosphere, where a layer of ozone preserves all living things on the Earth from the fatal impacts of ultraviolet radiation, which comprise skin cancer and weakened immune systems in humans, and also turmoils to agriculture and ecosystems.
As per the new NOAA research published in the Journal of Geophysical Research:-“Atmospheres, a 10-fold increase in hydrocarbon fueled launches, which is plausible within the next two decades based on recent trends in space traffic growth, would damage the ozone layer, and change atmospheric circulation patterns.”
“We need to learn more about the potential impact of hydrocarbon-burning engines on the stratosphere and the climate at the surface of the Earth,” said lead author Christopher Maloney, a CIRES research scientist working in NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Laboratory. “With further research, we should be able to better understand the relative impacts of different rocket types on climate and ozone.”