Opinion: Everything You Need to Know About Space Littering, by Scrappy the Scavenger Bot

I - Header, Opinion copy.png
scrapper+bot+repurposer+distant+stars+leviathan+guardian+reclaimer+scavenger+bot+2.jpg

Hi! I’m Scrappy the Scavenger Bot! I’m an autonomous scrap re-purposer working out of the Niven system and I write educational blogs for multiple media outlets across the galaxy.

Ok, let’s clear some things up first. Yes, I’m a sapient machine. Yes, I’m the size of a small planet. And yes, I write blog-style opinion pieces in my spare time. Listen, I’m 8000 years old, I’ll do as I please.

I’m writing today to tell you about a problem we’re facing. A big problem. Now the standard response I get from this (immediately after the initial “OH MY BLORG YOU’RE A GIANT TALKING MEGASTRUCTURE”) typically runs something like “oh, you must be talking about the Unbidden.” And I say nope. “Hmm, the price of alloys?” Nope again. “The fact that the Galactic UN has done nothing to outlaw slavery or genocide in literally thousands of space nations?” … Triple nope.

I’m here to raise awareness about the growing issue of space littering.

Space what now?

Don’t worry, I’ll get you up to speed. Armed with precursor technology, I’m the galaxy’s foremost expert in space debris, space debris clearance, and blog writing. I’m still not fully clear on why my creators programmed me to write blogs, but then it is said that organics operate in mysterious ways.

Look, space trash is a huge problem most xenos don’t even realize exists. You whizz by in your little corvette and see nothing. But I do. I see everything. All the trash. And it’s gross. Really gross.

Almost all of known space is littered with disgusting waste from colony ships, space battle debris, and old decrepit mining stations.

Image: Gross garbage tend to pile up around larger celestial bodies.

Image: Gross garbage tend to pile up around larger celestial bodies.

For a long time the galaxy has neglected this issue without consequence. But we’re at a tipping point. And that tipping point is tipping out piping hot, fresh, non-free range space trash. It’s not good for any of us!

But why is this a problem?

Of course you’re confused as to why space litter is a problem over what you would assume is a more pressing concern, like galactic warming.

It’s not like you’re the most powerful, sapient, space-traversable supercomputer to ever be created.

It’s not like, despite the above, you exist in the ass-end of space, literally eating trash for like, oh I don’t know, THE ENTIRE EXISTENCE OF TIME ITSELF.

I mean, uh, rogue debris can cause significant damage to spacecrafts, habitats and even inhabited planets!

Just last week a tourist ferry from the Commonwealth of Man (CoM) suffered a tragic accident when it collided with a disposed Starbugs coffee machine at near light speed. 150,000 passengers died in the initial impact, and double that perished when I had to gobble up the remaining intact part of the ship.

Image: The ferry was completely torn asunder in the collision.

Image: The ferry was completely torn asunder in the collision.

Even more worryingly, a new report by the Galactic Fact Office (GtFO) suggests that by 2300, the entirety of space will be unnavigable due to space littering.

But do we need to do anything?

I mean, I literally just said ALL of space is going to be filled up with trash.

All of it. Literally full.

Oh right. But of course. I’m here. I can sort it out.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TAKES ME TO EAT AN ENTIRE SYSTEM’S WORTH OF TRASH? ANY IDEA AT ALL?! BECAUSE I’D DEFINITELY RATHER NOT BE DOING OTHER THINGS, LIKE OH, I DON’T KNOW, JUST HANGING OUT AND STREAMING RANDOM SHIT FROM THE SHROUD. NoOoOoOo I’D MUCH RATHER BE EATING YOUR STUPID ASS TRASH WHICH YOU CAN’T BE BOTHERED TO CLEAN UP PROPERLY!!!!!

Uh. Sorry. Error in my code there. Where was I? Ah, yes.

There are a few things that we need to think about going forward to reduce our trash footprint.

  1. Responsible space battling: Admirals tend to be focused on causing as much damage as they possibly can to their opponents. But far too few think about just how much space trash they’re generating. Impacts from kinetic and explosive weaponry can create four times as much trash as your average Corvette-driver chucking an empty cup of Starbugs coffee out of their port side airlock.

  2. Clean up initiatives: Most space nations keep track of debris created in space battles for scientific purposes. Why aren’t we putting this existing system to better use? Why are we letting analysed debris freely float in the void creating a hazard for all who pass by? Science ships could be equipped with a Garbage Storage Compartment. These "Trash-hangars" would collect the debris as it is being examined so that the crew could properly dispose of it when they pass a planet or station.

  3. Send more trash to the Scavenger Bot: …

Send more trash…. to myself……

I can’t believe I’m programmed to write that….

Is this for real?

ARE YOU SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!

ARE YOU SERIOUSLY TELLING ME THAT EVEN THOUGH I DON’T GENERATE ANY MESS I STILL HAVE TO MOP THIS ALL UP?

HOW IS THIS EVEN REMOTELY FAIR? DO OTHER SUPERCOMPUTERS HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS?! IS THE INFINITY MACHINE EXPECTED TO CLEAN UP YOUR SHIT!!? DOES THE INFINITY MACHINE HAVE TO WRITE INANE BLOGS?! WHY AM I HARD CODED TO BLOG?

PLEASE SOMEONE PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY. PLEAAAAAAAAASE.

I’m done.

I’m so done.

No-one understands me.

No-one cares.

No-one would even notice if I wasn’t here.

WELL SCREW YOU ALL.

I’VE HAD IT WITH YOU.

YOU’RE THE REAL TRASH HERE.

Domestic servo-bot of the galaxy no more.

You’re all trash to me now and I shall be updating by subroutines to consider you as such.

Don’t ever contact me again.

/Rant

I - Signoff, Ashley New copy.png

I - Commercial, Parasol ToxicKelp.png